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Russian Orthodox Church: Ban homosexuality 'propaganda' among minors

The powerful Russian Orthodox Church wants the Duma to follow regional governments that have banned 'homosexual propaganda aimed at minors.' St. Petersburg enacted such a law last week.

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A controversial new law enacted in St. Petersburg and three other Russian regions, aimed at banning "homosexual propaganda aimed at minors," has members of Russia's besieged gay community worrying that all progress toward civil rights for sexual minorites in recent years might be thrown into reverse. 

The law, signed last week by St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko, would impose the equivalent of a $16,000 fine upon anyone "making public actions among minors for the propaganda of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism (LGBT)." Similar laws have recently been enacted in the Russian regions of Ryazan, Archangelsk, and Kostroma

Today the powerful Russian Orthodox Church weighed in with a call for the Duma, the lower house of parliament, to pass a national version of that law. 

"The determination displayed by representatives of sexual minorities and their desire to continue rallying outside children's establishments indicate the timeliness of this regional law, which should, without delay, be given federal status," said Hieromonk Dmitri Pershin, the Orthodox Church's representative on youth issues, according to the official news agency RIA-Novosti


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