ST. PETERSBURG, June 5 (RAPSI) - The St. Petersburg city parliament has rejected an initiative to cancel fines for the propaganda of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality among minors, by 50 votes to 9, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

The city law bans the propaganda of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality among children and teenagers, which is punished by a fine of 5,000 rubles ($157) for individuals, 50,000 rubles ($1,570) for officials and 250,000-500,000 rubles ($7,854-$15,710) for companies.

"It is absurd to introduce liability for something which is not a crime or offence," the author of the initiative Boris Vishnevsky told the assembly. "This is legal nonsense."

Only one individual has been actually fined during the period in which this law has been in effect. However, the law has seriously damaged the city's reputation, he added.
The legislators voted to uphold the controversial legislation.

Fines for gay propaganda were introduced in St. Petersburg, the Novosibirsk Region and some other Russian regions in 2011-2012.

In June, the State Duma will consider in the second reading a similar bill sponsored by Novosibirsk legislators, Yelena Mizulina, member of A Just Russia party and head of the lower house committee for families, women and children, told RIA Novosti last week.

The bill was submitted to the State Duma in March 2012 and stipulates that anyone involved in the promotion of homosexuality among children will be fined 4,000 ($127) to 5,000 rubles ($157). Furthermore, if a promoter holds an official post, he or she will be liable to a fine of 40,000 ($1,270) to 50,000 rubles ($1,570), while companies will face fines of 400,000 ($12,690) to 500,000 rubles ($15,710).