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Russian Parliament to Take Up Anti-LGBT Bill

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Proposed in October, the bill will ban gays and lesbians from displays of affection.

Russia's parliament is scheduled to take up a bill on January 22 that will ban gays and lesbians from showing any form of public affection. The bill was proposed in October by two members of the Communist Party, and has made its way to the Duma's lower house.

In an interview, Ivan Nikitchuk, Russian lawmaker and a sponsor of the bill, said that the proposal will stop "sick and crazy people" from "displaying their demonic desires which the West has forced on us."

If the bill is passed, "the public expression of nontraditional sexual relations, manifested in a public demonstration of personal perverted sexual preferences in public places" will be criminalized. Anyone caught breaking the law will be fined an equivalent of $65 and face up to 15 days in jail. The law is so vague that any action or behavior that is non-gender-conforming will also be punishable.

The current gay propaganda law in Russia already prohibits the "promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors." If the proposed bill passes, members of the LGBT community in Russia will face further discrimination.

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