Today the State Duma passed bill against so called “propaganda of homosexualism” in the first reading (out of 390 deputes, 1 voted against, 1 abstained). The bill was introduced by the Novosibirsk region Legislative Assembly on 28 March. Its first reading was delayed many times. According to the article 6.13.1 the fine for persons is 4-5.000RUB (132-165USD), for officials – 40-50 000RUB (1300-1600USD), and 400-500 000RUB (13 200-16 500USD) for companies. Similar laws have passed in 10 regions of Russia.
Now the Committee on Family, Women and Children Matters is to refine the bill taking in account all amendments received and initiate the second reading by the Parliament. The Duma decision states that the responsible Committee should accept the amendments that determine the “homosexualism” term description or to replace it with another term which can be found in the Russian legislation and to specify the set of elements of this administrative offense. The amendments will be accepted for consideration till 25 May.
Elena Mizulina, the head of the Committee for Family Matters, declared that the task team on this matter will be organized. According to her, there will be a representative from LGBT in this team.
Igor Kochetkov, the Chairman of the LGBT network: “The State Duma must pass the laws that prohibit any discrimination. If the task team, Mizulina said about, is ready to change the bill 6.13.1 so that it no more contains provisions offending and discriminating LGBT community, than we are ready to take part in this team and make our proposals. Another question is who will be in this team. It’s important to hear not only an opinion of related parties but also an opinion of independent human right defenders. We think that apart from people mentioned by Mizulina, there must be representatives of Russian Federation ombudsman and human right organizations, who have an experience in defending the freedom of expression and right to exercise the freedom of peaceful assembly, in this team. Only if these terms are observed, we can talk about considering this bill not on religious or political grounds but from human right and respect for human dignity point of view”.
In the nearest future Russian LGBT Network is going to pass out the statement with detailed description of its attitude towards the bill passed in the first reading.
On 30 November LGBT Network started a campaign “Against article 6.13.1”. The campaign was supported by such famous Russian and International human rights organizations as Youth Human Rights Movement, Moscow Helsinki group, Swedish Helsinki committee, Civil Rights Defenders, United for intercultural action, Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe, Front Line Defenders, SETA, Intergroup on LGBT Rights of European Parliament and others.