MOSCOW, June 13 (RAPSI) - US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, has said that the ban on homosexual propaganda contradicts the spirit of a democratic society.
"I am concerned by yesterday's legislative decision @dumagovru [the Russian State Duma]. Discrimination and intolerance contradict the spirit of a democratic society," he said on Twitter in Russian on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the lower house adopted in the second and third readings a law introducing administrative liability with a fine reaching 1 million rubles ($30,990) for gay propaganda among children, in particular via the use of the media, the Internet and viral advertizing.
The bill submitted to the State Duma in March 2012 stipulates that anyone involved in the promotion of homosexuality among children will be fined 4,000 ($127) to 5,000 rubles ($159). If a promoter holds an official post, he or she will have to pay 40,000 ($1,270) to 50,000 rubles ($1,586), while companies will have to pay 400,000 ($12,690) to 500,000 rubles ($15,863).
The punishment will be even harsher if the promoter has used the media or the Internet as means to promote homosexuality. Individuals will be fined 50,000 ($1,586) to 100,000 rubles ($3,170); officials will have to pay 100,000 rubles ($3,170) to 200,000 rubles ($6,345), and companies 1 million rubles ($30,990) or a 90 day suspension of operations.
The bill was backed by 463 MPs, while one abstained. The required number of votes to pass legislation is 226.
The bill stipulates punishment for foreign nationals and stateless persons separately. They will face deportation in addition to the regular fine applicable to Russians, or a 15-day detention and deportation.
The promotion of homosexuality is defined as the proliferation of information aimed at fostering unconventional sexual concepts in children, describing homosexual relations as attractive, creating a distorted idea of conventional relations between sexes being of the same social value as homosexual ones, and imposing information on children which sparks interest in homosexual relations.