'Gay propaganda' becomes illegal in Russia


“Gay propaganda” is now illegal in Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial bill into law today.

The bill, which was passed without any dissenting votes in both houses of parliament, makes it a punishable offence to suggest to children that homosexual and heterosexual relations are “socially equal”. Russians engaging in such “propaganda” are liable to be fined up to £4,000, while foreigners can be arrested and deported.

The law has come in for criticism internationally, but is broadly popular in Russia. Gay pride rallies are routinely banned, and while a protest in St Petersburg this weekend was given the green light, it ended with the small number of gay activists being pelted with eggs and stones.