Updated Dec 5, 2022 - World

Putin signs law expanding ban on "LGBT propaganda"

Vladimir Putin attends a meeting

Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with participants of the II Congress of Young Scientists in Sochi on Dec. 1. Photo: Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law on Monday expanding the country's prohibition of so-called "LGBT propaganda," the latest crackdown on LGBTQ rights in the country.

Driving the news: The new law will prohibit the dissemination of such "propaganda" — or promoting information about LGBTQ people — across "social networks, in the mass media, films and advertisements," according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

  • The law expands upon an old law that had prohibited the dissemination of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to children and bans the spread of such information to adults, too, AP reported.
  • The old law had already been used by the government to detain activists and stop LGBTQ pride marches, Reuters reported.

The big picture: The law also expands previous restrictions by prohibiting the distribution of information about gender transitions to minors and banning information that is determined to be propaganda promoting pedophilia, per AP.

  • "The country’s mass media watchdog will be authorized to put websites with the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations, pedophilia, and gender reassignment on the register of prohibited resources subject to blocking," according to TASS.
  • The legislation broadly defines propaganda to encompass "any positive or neutral depiction or discussion of non-heterosexual relations," and does not contain exceptions for purposes of art, scientific studies, or education, according to Human Rights Watch.
  • Individuals and entities who violate the law risk incurring heavy fines, ranging from $1,660 to $66,000 (100,000 to 4 million rubles), per AP.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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