As the world becomes more liberal and accepting of difference, charismatic Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial bill - punishing people for homosexual propaganda - into law, according to an official publication over the weekend. The new law introduces fines of up to 5,000 rubles/$AU165 for citizens who disseminate information "directed at forming non-traditional sexual setup" in minors or which may cause a "distorted understanding" that gay and heterosexual relations are "socially equivalent", the publication showed.
Critics and civil libertarians have called the bill homophobic, saying it's "so vaguely defined that it would inevitably be used arbitrarily against gays," stirring hate crimes in the country.
However, the bill sailed through the parliament. Mr Putin had promised in advance that he would sign the bill.
The fines go up to as much as 200,000 rubles/$AU6,600 for officials if such "propaganda" is disseminated through the media or internet. Foreigners will not only be fined but face administrative arrest up to 15 days and eventual deportation, the law says. Organisations face fines of up to 1 million rubles and shutdown of their activity for 90 days :: Read the full article »»»»