St. Petesrburg, November 17, 2011
The legislative assembly of St. Petersburg passed in the first reading a bill introducing civil liability for the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors, an Interfax correspondent reports.
Presenting the bill its author Vitaly Milonov attributed the need for it to the fact that "children should be protected from destructive information."
He said that "the wave of popularity of sexual perversions" is sweeping over St. Petersburg.
The bill provoked a stormy debate. Yelena Babich, Liberal Democrat, was shocked that the bill provides for moderate punishment for such actions. In her opinion, "covert propaganda [of homosexuality and pedophilia] is conducted throughout the city," she said.
To prove her point she said that during the celebration of City Day, the streets of St. Petersburg are decorated with pictures of Peter the Great and the rainbow which is a symbol of the world gay community.
"What does a penalty of 1,000 or 3,000 rubles ($33-100 - IF) mean for a pedophile, if they are supported by international circles?" she lamented. In her opinion, the fines for such offenses should be quite tangible and personal punishment in some cases can imply severe prison terms.
Deputies adopted the bill almost unanimously - 37 voted for it, one against and one abstained.
The bill introduces a penalty for the propaganda of homosexuality for private individuals at 1,000 to 3,000 rubles, for officials at 3,000 to 5,000 rubles, for legal entities at 10,000 to 50,000 rubles. The bill will supplement the city code of civil offenses.