[The Russian government has introduced new] legislation, which was passed unanimously, prohibits all public speech or actions deemed to be “directed at promoting nontraditional sexual norms,” to propagandize the “attractiveness” of same-sex relationships or gender transition, or to encourage “distorted notions of the social equivalency of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations.” The ban covers all media, from internet sites to journalism to literature, arts and entertainment including video games. While there are no criminal penalties, violators will pay steep fines: 50,000 to 400,000 rubles for individuals (in a country where the average monthly wage is between 50,000 and 60,000 rubles); 100,000 to 800,000 rubles for public officeholders; and 800,000 to 5 million rubles for companies, which can also be shut down for up to 90 days. Foreign lawbreakers can be not only deported but held in detention for up to 15 days. Films and television shows will be barred from release if found to have prohibited LGBT content, and Russia’s powerful federal communications supervision agency, the Roskomnadzor, will be empowered to block “LGBT propaganda” websites without a court order.
According to the principal architect of the new law, Duma member Aleksandr Khinshtein: “The special military operation is taking place not only on the battlefield, but also in people’s minds and souls. Today, in fact, we are fighting to ensure that Russia, as the president puts it, does not have “parent number one, parent number two, and parent number three” instead of Mom and Dad. It is obvious that our confrontation with the West is largely civilizational in nature. That’s because Russia is an outpost for the protection and preservation of traditional values in opposition to the new pseudo-values imposed by the West, first and foremost being the normalization of sexual deviancy.”