As if the West needed more reason to hate Vladimir Putin, the Russian president on Monday signed into law updated legislation which expands the current ban on the prohibition of what it dubs LGBT propaganda to children, shrugging off widespread Western human rights criticisms leveled at Moscow.
The new law now expands to banning anything that promotes LGBT propaganda before the entire population, regardless of age or demographic, which makes it much more sweeping and broad.
The law also aggressively targets transgender ideology. At this point, anything interpreted as advancing or displaying information that "can make minors want to change their gender" is banned, according to the new law. This includes promoting "non-traditional sexual relations".
Violation of the law, for example with media campaigns or formal organizing and activism, could see entities face a fine of up to 4 million rubles (or just under $64,000). Time in jail is also possible as a punishment. It further effectively bans all future attempts at 'pride' parades.
According to details in The Moscow Times:
People of all ages are now banned from accessing certain content under the new legislation. From now on, LGBT relationships and "lifestyles" cannot be displayed or mentioned, according to activists.
The display of LGBT relationships is also banned from advertising campaigns, films, video games, books and media publications. Outlets that break the new law could be fined or shut down by the government.
Foreigners could also be booted from the country if they are found in violation of the law.
For years it has been illegal to promote 'alternative' sexual lifestyles among minors, based on an initial 2013 law that focused on rooting out "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" aimed at children. As it previously existed, violators could face 15 days in prison, or also a fine.
President Putin has over the last few years increased his focus on fighting against gender ideology in speeches, vowing to protect the country and the Russian people from "gender obscurantism" - as he dubbed it in a 2021 speech. Many Russian officials also associate it with nefarious intentions from NATO.
"I am a proponent of the traditional approach that a woman is a woman and a man is a man," Putin said at the time - in a theme which has since been reiterated. "A mother is a mother, a father is a father. And I hope that our society has the internal moral protection dictated by the traditional religious denominations of the Russian Federation."