homophobia / legislation / russia

Analysis: the “Witch hunt” law in Russia

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty published an article this week about a draft law circulating in the Russian Duma that would put homosexuality on par with drug addiction and child abuse as possible grounds for losing parental rights.

The bill’s author, Duma member Aleksei Zhuravlyov, wrote in his proposal introducing the draft that, “In the case when a parent has sexual contact with people of their own gender, the damage that can be inflicted on the psyche of a child is enormous.” The bill was immediately condemned by human rights groups and international organizations.

According to RFE/RL:

The bill has stoked panic among Russia’s already embattled LGBT community, which has reported a surge in verbal and physical assaults since President Vladimir Putin signed the “gay propaganda” bill into law in June.

The Moscow Times, however, recently quoted another Duma member as saying that the draft law would be “unenforceable”, and that Zhuravlov’s bill was unlikely to pass.

The bill was discussed in the Duma’s Committee on the Family, Women and Children last Thursday, September 19.  The Committee chairwoman, Yelena Mizulina, said that, if passed, the law would lead to a “kind of filtering of the entire adult population, and that’s not realistic.”

Mizulina’s committee recommended that the draft law be added to a list of bills to be considered by the Duma in it’s spring session, which starts in February, 2014.

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