US media is reporting that President Vladimir Putin signed into law earlier this month the bill that expands a ban on so-called LGBTQ “propaganda” in Russia. According to a CNN report:
December 5, 2022 CNN Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law a bill that expands a ban on so-called LGBTQ “propaganda” in Russia, making it illegal for anyone to promote same-sex relationships or suggest that non-heterosexual orientations are “normal.” The ban was rubber-stamped by Putin just days after a harsh new “foreign agents” law came into effect, as the Kremlin cracks down on free speech and human rights as its military operation in Ukraine falters. The new laws significantly broaden the scope of a 2013 law which banned the dissemination of LGBTQ-related information to minors. The new iteration extends the ban on promoting such information to adults as well. The new laws make it illegal to promote or “praise” LGBTQ relationships, publicly express non-heterosexual orientations or suggest that they are “normal.” The package of amendments signed by Putin include heavier penalties for anyone promoting “non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences,” as well as pedophilia and gender transition. Under the new law, it will be banned across the internet, media, books, audiovisual services, cinema, and advertising. As Russia struggles in Ukraine, repression mounts at home Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,370) for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles ($3,185) for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.” These fines rise to up to 5 million rubles ($80,000) and 4 million rubles ($64,000) respectively for legal entities. The law was approved by the Russia’s upper and lower houses in recent weeks.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) first reported on the new legislation in early November when Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev told a Duma hearing that passing the law would be part of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
Putin has long been known for his desire to become the ideological center of a Global National Conservative (GNCA) alliance described in a GIOR report as follows:
Russian President PUTIN has expressed an interest in Russia becoming the ideological center of a new global conservative alliance, and European far-right leaders have taken pro-Russian positions based on a similar ideology. Hungary is at the center of a developing alliance between European far-right nationalists and American conservatives that Russia could potentially exploit for use in information warfare. This alliance operates under the rubric of “National Conservatism,” centered on national sovereignty, cultural identity, and opposition to global institutions and representing a potentially radical change for the US conservative movement away from long-held Reagan-era philosophies.
Read the full report here.
GIOR reported in late October that Putin had once again delivered a speech in which he extensively referenced so-called “culture war” themes commonly espoused by rightwing/conservative Western elements. In his remarks, Putin referred to “strange, in my opinion, newfangled trends like dozens of genders and gay pride parades.”
Opposition to “gender ideology” is a central issue for the GNCA, and GIOR has also reported on the role played by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), a Hungarian education facility supported by the Orban government, in disseminating Russian-style anti-LGBTQ propaganda. We have also reported on the new Italian far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the anti-gay positions of her and her coalition partners.