What regional Arkhangelsk lawmakers approved in September 2011 is now on full speed to become federal law as the State Duma approved the anti-gay law in its first reading on Friday.
“We live in Russia, not Sodom and Gomorrah,” United Russia Deputy Dmitry Sablin said before the vote, the Moscow Times reports.
The aim is to shield Russians aged up to 18 from what the lawmakers view as dangerous ideas on freedoms spread by Western-backed advocates and social media.
The regional law that one and a half year ago was approved by the regional Arkhangelsk Assembly is entitled “Measures to protect the morals and health of children” and was originally initiated by community organizations and religious movements in Arkhangelsk.
The law bans all activities aimed at promoting homosexuality in public areas in Arkhangelsk. When now becoming federal, the law stipulates fines of about 4,000 rubles (€98) to 500,000 rubles (€12,322) to individuals, government officials, and organizations that engage in promoting homosexuality among minors.
Last year, the European Parliament condemned the Arkhangelsk gay law. With the reading in the State Duma now on Friday, domestic and international protests are once again triggered.
“The draft law contributes to an atmosphere that makes violence against LGBT protesters seem acceptable,” said Anna Kirey, a researcher with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) program at Human Rights Watch.
“If adopted, the bill would violate the free expression rights of all Russians and discriminate against and further stigmatize Russia’s LGBT community,” she says.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.