Russia’s State Duma has voted to fully ban LGBTQ, pedophilia and sex-change propaganda in the country following the final reading of a bill on Thursday.
The legislation, entitled “protection of traditional values” was supported by all 397 MPs in the lower house of the country’s parliament, passing without any opposition or abstentions.
The bill would outlaw such propaganda in advertising, books, movies and media. In effect, the bill is an extension of a law passed in 2013, which banned the dissemination of LGBTQ materials among those under 18. The new law extends the previous law to a blanket ban on any sexual propaganda that seeks to distort the traditional understanding of human anthropology based on both natural law and a biblical worldview.
Factoring in Russian standards, the financial penalties for breaking the law are substantial, with individuals facing a penalty of 400,000 rubles (Euro 6,500) and corporate entities of up to five million rubles (around Euro 80,000) for LGBTQ propaganda. Fines for the promotion of pedophilia are double these amounts, furthermore, according to the bill, foreign parties who violate the law will also face expulsion from Russia.
If the law comes into force (as it is expected to), it would make it impossible for movies that promote non-traditional relations or sex change to obtain distribution licenses in the country. Products with similar content, including foreign material, will also be prohibited from being put on sale.
However, the parliament rejected the idea of introducing criminal liability for repeated violations of the ban on LGBTQ propaganda.
State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin thanked his fellow parliamentarians for unanimously supporting the legislation, insisting that “this decision will protect our children, the future of the country from the darkness spread by the US and European states.” Volodin rejected a call by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who earlier urged Russian lawmakers to “withdraw the bill and respect the human rights and dignity of all.”
In my opinion, the intention behind this law goes way beyond domestic consideration – to the contrary, it is intended to demonstrate to a worldwide audience – that Russia is not only an unequivocal defender of traditional values against Western ideological imperialism – indeed it is another important pointer that Russia is extremely serious about setting itself up as a civilizational alternative.
While to the Western elite both in the US and the EU – this must surely be another reason for Russia to be brought to its knees, for the rest of the world, which though known as the Global South actually encompasses Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and thereby the vast majority of the world’s population, these statements, along with the willingness to defend if necessary also with force bring nothing but respect and admiration.
While in the past, the USSR was seen in many of these regions as the inspiration for widespread revolutionary willingness to end western colonialism, so is modern Russia assuming in their eyes, the role of the vanguard against Western ideological imperialism. We have no idea how powerful this is to the rest of the world which contrary to our beliefs deeply resents the imposition of our non-traditional values as a precondition for their participation in the so-called western-ruled ”globalist system”. Indeed many of them look forward, (as increasingly many now dare to state this openly) – to a multi-polar system based on true sovereignty be it financial, political or cultural.
There is no doubt in my mind about this. Putin’s recent speeches in the Kremlin and at the Valdai Club have been rather explicit, going as far as to openly state that Western progressive ideology is ”Satanic”.
To the delight of Russia, western nations including the USA, Canada, and the EU were silly enough to quickly condemn the democratic will of the Russian people.
Canada immediately condemned the passage of the bill, accusing Russian lawmakers of creating “a climate of fear and intimidation” among LGBTQ people and “impacting the human rights of all in Russia.” The condemnation was signed by 33 other members of the ‘Equal Rights Coalition,’ a group of mostly Western nations dedicated to promoting gay rights around the world. Russia was quick to Respond:
“Canadians should keep their “alien” beliefs to themselves”
Canada is “deliberately distorting reality by conflating the concepts of individual sexual preferences and universal human rights,” the Russian embassy wrote on Twitter. “There is no discrimination in Russia with respect to the rights of sexual and other kinds of minorities,” the embassy continued. “However… a person’s freedom ends where another man’s freedom begins.”
“We believe that non-traditional relations propaganda… infringes the rights of the traditional majority of Russian citizens willing to protect themselves and their children from being imposed with precepts that are alien to their spiritual and moral values,”
When the Russian embassy was accused by Canadian Minister for Sport Pascale St-Onge of spreading “homophobic propaganda,” it responded by asking the minister “will you, please, explore and explain how you appeared in this world?”
A similar condemnation by the US was met with similar bluntness – Do what you want in your own country but don’t interfere in our affairs. We have chosen a different direction and there’s nothing you can do about it.
We dismiss the allure of such a forthright challenge to what many thought to be an unstoppable juggernaut at our peril. Russia is in effect telling the world, that it will stand against the hegemon, and is inviting us to do the same. Russia is showing the world that the emperor is naked, and all it needs to bring him down is to confront him on one’s own terms.
In fact in my opinion, by these actions, Russia not only solidifies the support of the global south but makes inroads in the West itself, where the vast suffering majority has long suffered in silence and impotence against the increasing criminalisation of their most basic beliefs.