by Hilary White.
MOSCOW, July 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin yesterday signed the bill to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality, “same-sex marriage,” and Gay Pride parades throughout the Russian Federation.
The national law reinforces and expands previous regional legislation in St. Petersburg.
The law outlaws distributing of information on “non-traditional sexual concepts” to children, describing such actions as attractive, promoting a “distorted understanding of social equality of traditional and non-traditional relations” and being involved in the “unwanted solicitation of information that could provoke interest in such relations.”
Those Russians giving children propaganda about homosexuality could be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($152 U.S.). Foreigners could be fined the same amount, held in jail for 15 days and deported. Officials convicted of the offense can be fined up to 50,000 rubles (about $1,500 U.S.), or 500,000 rubles for companies (about $15,000 U.S.).
Promoting “non-traditional sex relations” through media or the internet could be fined as much as 100,000 rubles (about$3,000 U.S.), while organizations could face a million ruble fine or a 90-day suspension of activities.
In anticipation of criticism, Putin warned Western countries to mind their own business. Speaking at a press in Finland in June, he said, “Some countries…think that there is no need to protect children from this. We do.”
“We are not going to interfere,” he said, “but we are going to provide such protection the way that State Duma lawmakers have decided.”
At the same time, Putin signed the bill that outlaws desecration of religious objects or places or offending religious sensibilities. It will allow for fines up to half a million rubles ($15,600) and up to three years imprisonment for intentionally disturbing places of worship, and a year in jail for offenses committed elsewhere. Premeditated and public desecration of religious objects or books will also be punished – by fines of up to 200,000 rubles (more than $6,200).
The law was proposed after the punk band Pussy Riot disrupted services at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, performing a profanity-laden song and dance around the altar mocking Christianity. Its members were convicted on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in prison, a decision that elicited howls of outrage from liberal pundits, celebrities, media and politicians. German MEP Werner Schulz (Greens/EFA) gathered the signatures of 45 other MEPs to award the band the European Parliament’s Peace Prize.
Dr. Igor Beloborodov, director of Russia’s Demographic Research Institute, told LifeSiteNews.com that Pussy Riot, far from making innocent political statements, has “repeatedly insulted the feelings of believers” in Russia, and is actively engaged in promoting an anti-family, anti-Christian agenda.
“Few people know that their aggressive actions have taken place under the slogans of the LGBT community,” wrote Beloborodov. “They have repeatedly stated in their comments that these actions are directed not only against the Orthodox Church and Orthodox