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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: January 19, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Parliamentary Committee Rejects Draft Anti-Gay Law But Persecution of Gays Continues
4 years
Moscow Court Rules Navalny Must Pay $5089 in Damages to Sen. Sablin, Anti-Maidan/Fighting Brotherhood Leader
A new anti-gay law has been rejected by the State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction, Moscow Times reports this week, citing Interfax:

Dmitry Vyatkin, the deputy chairman of the committee said that the draft bill was rejected "primarily due to the fact that from a formal legal perspective, the bill was illiterate," the RBC news agency reported.

The bill is due to be considered by the State Duma in a first reading on Jan.19.

The measure, initiated by Communist Party deputies Ivan Nikitchuk and Nikolai Arefyev, called for fines of up to to 5,000 rubles ($63) for public expressions of "non-traditional sexual orientation," such as same-
sex hugging, kissing and holding hands.

The lawmakers also proposed a prison sentence of up to 15 days for coming out as gay within educational, cultural or youth institutions.

Meduza, an independent online Russian-language publication run by exiles from Russia fired from last year, published an interview by special correspondent Daniil Turkovsky with hardliner Russian MP Ivan Nikitchuk who sponsored the bill. The interview was translated for Meduza's English edition and also picked up by the Washington Post.

Turkovsky: What drove you to draft such a law?
Nikitchuk: Well, tell me, are you a normal person? In my opinion, nature created man and woman to be together, and throughout the animal world, we find such couples. Even the plant world works this way: here's the pistil, and there's the stamen.

But sick and crazy people have decided their sexual problems can be solved another way. These are mental deviations—deviations from the norms of behavior, and from what nature has dictated.

With this legislation, we're not prohibiting anyone from engaging in you-know-what (a stamen in a stamen—let them do whatever they want under the sheets). But we are stopping them from displaying their demonic desires, which the West would force on us...

Sorry, guys, but this is Russia. This is our country, where we've always respected traditions, where we've always had and still have today a conscience and the concept of shame. 
Moscow Times also noted that a petition on had already gathered 41,900 signatures against the draft law.

Even if this new law does not pass -- and it does not seem likely it will -- the government still retains existing laws and unofficial means to harass the gay community, including by looking the other way as unofficial movements such as Anti-Maidan attack gay parades.

The current law banning the "propagandizing" of lifestyles by "sexual minorities" to minors is very broadly applied and can mean any public manifestations by LGBT.

As the Russian LGBT Network reported, Sergei Alekseyenko (Sergey Alekseenko) was found guilty of "propaganda of homosexuality among minors" via the Internet and fined 100,000 rubles ($1,272)

Alekseyenko protested against various procedural violations in his case, and said that he was punished in fact for a quotation from a report by Roskomnadzor, the state censor.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick