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MOSCOW â Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russiaâs parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of âhooliganism.â But if a bill Michael Kors Outlet Online that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal âhomosexual propagandaâ and bring a fine of up to $16,000.
The legislation being pushed by the michael kors outlet store Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as âpropaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.â It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.
The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and church see as michael kors factory outlet corrupting Russian youth and by extension contributing to a wave of protest against President Vladimir Putinâs rule.
Samburov describes the anti-gay bill as part of a Kremlin crackdown on minorities of any kind â political and religious as well as sexual â designed to divert public attention from growing discontent with Putinâs rule.
The lanky and longhaired Samburov is the founder of the Rainbow Association, which unites gay activists Michael Kors Outlet Online throughout Russia. The gay rights group has joined anti-Putin marches in Moscow over the past year, its rainbow flag waving along with those of other opposition groups.
Other laws that the Kremlin says are intended to protect young Russians have been hastily adopted in recent months, including some that allow banning and blocking web content and print publications that are deemed âextremistâ or unfit for Michael Kors Outlet Online Store young audiences.
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Denis Volkov, a sociologist with the Levada Center, an independent pollster, says the anti-gay bill fits the âgeneral logicâ of a government intent on limiting various rights.
But in this case, the move has been met mostly with either indifference or open enthusiasm by average Russians. Levada polls conducted last year show that almost two thirds of Russians find homosexuality âmorally unacceptable and Michael Kors Outlet Online Store worth condemning.â About half are against gay rallies and same-sex marriage; almost a third think homosexuality is the result of âa sickness or a psychological trauma,â the Levada surveys show.
Russiaâs widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by the political and religious elite.
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