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Russia plans to enact Ugandan-style Anti-gay law

By Ronald Musoke & Agencies

Russia is planning to enact an even tougher Anti-homosexuality law than Uganda’s to protect young Russians.

The legislation which is being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church will make it illegal nationwide to provide young children with information that is defined as propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, beastiality and trans-genderism.

It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and Church see as corrupting Russian youth, the Associated Press reported on Jan.21.

However, cynics including human rights activists see the anti-gay bill as part of a Kremlin crackdown on minorities of any kind—political and religious as well as sexual— designed to divert public attention from growing discontent with President Putin’s rule.

The move has been met mostly with either indifference or open enthusiasm by average Russians.

Officials at the Levada Centre, a Russian independent survey firm, conducted polls last year and found out that almost two thirds of Russians find homosexuality morally unacceptable and worth condemning.

About half are against gay rallies and same sex marriage while almost a third of them think homosexuality is the result of a sickness, or psychological trauma, the Levada surveys show.

Russian lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates and say they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.

They further argue that Russian minors need to be protected from homosexuality propaganda because they are unable to evaluate the information critically. This propaganda goes through the mass media and public events that propagate homosexuality as normal behaviour.

The Russian bill is similar to Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality bill that has stirred an unprecedented international uproar since it was first tabled before Parliament by David Bahati— a member of Uganda’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM)—in 2009.

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