On January 24, Russian MPs from United Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) and the Communist Party have jointly submitted a proposal to amend the gay propaganda ban law in order to ban promotion of any sexual relations to underage children.
According to the document, it proposes to amend the Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offences “Propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” enacted last year. The bill proposes to exclude the term “non-traditional” from the title and to extend its action on promotion of any sexual relations to minors. Similar amendments are proposed for the Article 14 of the Law “On Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child in the Russian Federation”, as well as for the Article 5 of the Law “On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development.”, ITAR-TASS reports.
The body of Article 6.21 of the Administrative Code as a whole remains unchanged, except for a new provision banning “propaganda of sexual relations among minors, expressed in obtrusion of information on priority of sexual relations to minors, if such actions do not contain a criminal offense.” The “obtrusion” is proposed to be punished by a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles for citizens, from 40,000 to 50,000 rubles for officials and from 800,000 to 1 million rubles for legal entities. For the latter category the bill also provides suspension of operations for up to 90 days. Also , if such acts were committed with the use of media or information and telecommunication networks, the penalties increase to 50,000-100,000 for citizens , 100,000-200,000 rubles for officials and 1 million rubles for legal entities with posible suspension the operation for up to 90 days.
According to the bill authors, extension of the scope of the articles is neccessary because this is “an issue that in recent years has spread throughout the Russian Federation.” “The problem is in increase of sexual activity among adolescents simultaneously with decrease of age when teens begin to have sex,” – MPs explain.
“This bill proposes to deem any information which promotes priority of sexual relations as opposed to family life values, spiritual and intellectual development of minors as information harmful to health and (or) development of children”, MPs stress in explanatory notes.
Russian LGBT Network in 2013 has initially suggested to remove “discriminatory regulations” from the draft bill, meaning to restrict any promotion of sexual relations to minors regardless of sexual orientation.
UPDATE: The official Duma amendment draft webpage includes a full document pack with names and signuatures of MPs in the initiative group. Russian opera singer and United Russia MP Maria Maksakova is listed among the amendment authors. Earlier in December, 2013 Maksakova made a speech at the United Russia private session smashing the gay propaganda ban law and urging MPs to take action in order to stop international pressure on Russian musicians and singers working abroad. Nevertheless, the new law, according to the statement which amendment authors make in the document pack, will still contain the possibility to prosecute “non-traditional propaganda” to minors.
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