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Russian Parliament Passes ‘Anti-Gay’ Bill With Overwhelming Majority

The Russian parliament on Tuesday passed a controversial bill imposing heavy fines for Russians, foreigners and media organizations promoting homosexual “propaganda” to minors. Gay rights campaigners staged a kissing protest outside the parliament. The peaceful Protests turned violent as clashes broke out between the campaigners and anti-gay activists.

Ria Novosti reports:

Russia?s lower house of parliament on Tuesday gave its final approval for a controversial ?anti-gay? bill, with only one of the 436 lawmakers present abstaining and no votes against, after a day of clashes outside the building and dozens of arrests by police.

The bill seeks to ban the ?the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships,? making such acts punishable by a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($30,000).

The first draft of the bill, passed by the State Duma on January 25, used the term ?homosexuality? but this was replaced by the term ?non-traditional sexual relationships,? in the final version Tuesday.

To become law the bill must now be passed by the Federation Council ? Russia?s upper house of parliament ? and signed by President Vladimir Putin. Both steps are likely to be mere formalities.

About 20 protesters were detained outside the parliament building, police said. Gay rights demonstrators reportedly scuffled with Russian Orthodox activists, who were chanting, ?Russia is not Sodom!? and throwing eggs and bundles of stinging nettles. Some of the men and women rallying against the bill kissed in an act of protest.

Read the full article via RIA NOVOSTI