26 Jan 2013

Ban on promotion of homosexuality passes 1st reading

6:04 am on 26 January 2013

A bill banning the promotion of homosexuality among children has passed its first reading in the Russian parliament.

If passed, it will mean that events promoting gay rights will be banned and the organisers fined.

Police made arrests outside the State Duma in Moscow after gay rights supporters planning a "kiss-in" were assaulted by opponents.

The bill faces two more readings in the State Duma, after which it must be approved by the upper house (Federation Council) and President Vladimir Putin before it can become law.

Last year, Moscow's top court upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital, effectively prohibiting them for the next 100 years.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993.

Under the bill, private individuals promoting "homosexual behaviour among minors" in Russia face fines of up to 5000 roubles (£105; $US166). Businesses and schools could be fined up to 500,000 roubles.