Lawmakers want to block sites for 'homosexual propaganda'
N 9 April 2013

Lawmakers want to block sites for 'homosexual propaganda'

As Russia's parliament is debating a law banning "propaganda of homosexuality among children" some lawmakers have come forward with an amendment that would allow the authorities to shut down websites caught spreading such 'propaganda' without a court's decision. "No adult must impose their sexual preferences to a person under 18 years of age. Propaganda of homosexuality must be classified as information, inappropriate for children", said Elena Mizulina, head of Family, Women and Children Affairs committee of the State Duma.

A notorious law passed last year allows adding websites to a special Register, and subsequently shut down without a court decision, for publishing banned content such as child pornography, suicide instructions and promoting illegal drug use. The procedure for 'gay propaganda' sites may be similar, Mrs Mizulina said.

Lawmakers, however, are not exactly sure how content will be filtered and what criteria will be used to describe the 'propaganda'. RBC daily contacted a few organisations and state bodies, but none of them could answer what expert group would be able to define what 'homosexual propaganda' is.

Saint Petersburg and a few other Russian regions have local laws prohibiting 'propaganda of homosexuality'. A similar bill, banning it on federal level, passed its first reading in the Duma in late January, and is supposed to be put on the floor again on 25 May.