St. Petersburg

A bill to ban the “promotion of homosexuality” in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city, has passed its final hurdle in the city’s legislature.

On Wednesday, 29 of the 50 legislators in the Legislative Assembly approved the law in its third and final reading.

The law is expected to be signed by St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko, after which it will take effect ten days later.

“There is nothing more abominable than propaganda regarding such things,” Poltavchenko said in a news conference in December, affirming his support for the bill.

Once the law is in effect, individuals can be fined $16,000 and groups $160,000 for “promoting” homosexuality among minors.

In effect, any public LGBT events, such as Pride parades, will become illegal.

To the added chagrin of LGBT activists, the law lumps homosexuality with the promotion of paedophilia, which it also bans.

Similar laws have been passed in Russia’s southern Astrakhan and central Ryazan and Kostroma regions.

There have been reports that Moscow may consider similar legislation while Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has said that he backs banning the “promotion of homosexuality” nationally.

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