Putin Introduces Fines for Gay ‘Propaganda’ Aimed at Children – Businessweek

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law fining people who “propagate” homosexuality to children, a day after dozens of people were detained following a gay-pride parade in St. Petersburg.

The law introduces fines of 4,000 rubles ($122) to 5,000 rubles for individuals and 10 times those figures for public officials found guilty, according to a copy of the legislation posted to a government website yesterday. Fines for individuals who use mass media or the Internet to propagate homosexuality to minors rise to as much as 100,000 rubles.

Putin, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term as president last year, said in April that same-sex marriages don’t produce children and that Russia and Europe face demographic challenges from lower birth rates, though it’s his duty to protect the rights of people with “non-traditional” sexual orientations. The decision comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that denied benefits to same-sex couples and removed obstacles for gay weddings to resume in California.

Putin violated Russia’s international obligations by signing the law, which will be challenged at Russia’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights, Nikolai Alexeyev, a Russian gay-rights activist, wrote in a statement on GayRussia.eu.

‘Under-educated Electorate’

“By signing the law banning gay propaganda, President Putin may have won a local battle for the votes of his under-educated electorate,” Alexeyev wrote. “He lost the historical battle. History will prove that he committed a mistake that future generations won’t likely forgive.”

Opinion polls have shown limited tolerance among Russians for homosexuality. Last year, Moscow City Court upheld the city’s decision to ban gay-pride parades for the next 100 years.

The federal bill follows a similar ban on “propaganda” instituted last year in St. Petersburg, which was used two days ago in Russia’s second-largest city. The 58 people detained in St. Petersburg included eight who were opponents of same-sex marriages, the local Fontanka.ru news portal reported, citing city police. A leader of the event, Yury Gavrikov, was held overnight and will face administrative charges on July 4, the news service said.

The St. Petersburg law drew international outrage. American singer Madonna faced a 333 million-ruble fine earlier this year, later thrown out by a city court, after saying at a concert last year that gays and lesbians should be treated with dignity and tolerance.

Defended Record

Putin has defended Russia’s record on gay rights amid criticism from European countries. The bill Putin signed yesterday stigmatizes homosexuals and breaches the spirit of Russia’s commitments, including to the European Convention on Human Rights, Steffen Seibert, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters in Berlin last month.

“I want everyone to understand that in Russia there are no infringements on sexual minorities’ rights,” Putin said in Amsterdam in April. “They’re people, just like everyone else, and they enjoy full rights and freedoms.”

The federal amendments expanded on a law that protects children from pornography and other “harmful information.” The bill prohibits the distribution of information intended to promote or spread “non-traditional sexual orientations’” among minors, or a “distorted conception of the equivalence between traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.”

The bill also prohibits the “obtrusive spreading of information about non-traditional sexual relationships that may arouse interest in such relationships.”

Russian ‘Mood’

Foreign citizens charged under the law face administrative arrests for as long as 15 days and deportation from Russia.

The federal government wasn’t behind regional initiatives to ban material promoting homosexuality, Putin said in April. They “reflect the mood of Russian society,” he said.

Some 48 percent of Russians believe the government should “definitely” prevent public displays or justifications of homosexuality, the independent Levada Center said May 17, citing a poll of 1,601 people conducted in April. The Moscow-based polling firm found 25 percent said the state should “probably” do so.

The same survey found 13 percent of people think homosexuals should face prosecution, while 38 percent said they should be “treated” for their homosexuality. Some 31 percent said gays and lesbians should be left alone.

via Putin Introduces Fines for Gay ‘Propaganda’ Aimed at Children – Businessweek.

New Yorkers mob Gay Pride Parade just days after DOMA’s toss by Supreme Court – NY Daily News

Gays wore their rainbow colors with extra pride Sunday, strutting and dancing down New York’s Fifth Ave. — this time with an extra dose of equality.

The city’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade was like no other as 84-year-old Edith Windsor led the way — just four days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key part of the antigay Defense of Marriage Act.

PHOTOS: NEW YORK CITY GAY PRIDE PARADE 2013

“I don’t know how to describe it. It’s everything. Everything is different,” said Windsor, the parade’s grand marshal and the principal plaintiff in the historic high court case.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-yorkers-mob-gay-pride-parade-post-doma-article-1.1386744#ixzz2Xr7yTM1k

New Yorkers mob Gay Pride Parade just days after DOMA’s toss by Supreme Court – NY Daily News.

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Gay Pride Day Parades Across the U.S. Have Special Feel Because of Supreme Court Win Restoring Same-Sex Marriages; Opponents Try Last-Ditch Effort To Stop Gay Marriages | KpopStarz

Cities across the nation were gearing up Sunday for what were expected to be especially well-attended and exuberant gay pride parades following the U.S. Supreme Court decisions restoring same-sex marriages to California and granting gay couples the federal benefits of marriage they were previously denied.

The 84-year-old New York woman at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court decision granting gay couples federal marriage benefits is a grand marshal of the city’s gay pride march, according to the New York Daily News..

Edith Windsor is among those leading the march down Fifth Avenue. It’s been 44 years since the city held its first pride march. But it’s only days since the Supreme Court used Windsor’s lawsuit to strike down the provision of an act that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Also serving as this year’s grand marshal is musician and activist Harry Belafonte.

The parade stepped off at noon and this year’s theme is titled “Rain to Rainbows.”

The gay pride celebrations scheduled in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle and St. Louis are annual, and in most cases decades-old events whose tones and themes have mirrored the gay rights movement’s greatest victories and defeats. This year’s parades, coming on the heels of the high court’s historic decisions, should be no exception.

via Gay Pride Day Parades Across the U.S. Have Special Feel Because of Supreme Court Win Restoring Same-Sex Marriages; Opponents Try Last-Ditch Effort To Stop Gay Marriages | KpopStarz.

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Gay marriage couple wins green-card petition – POLITICO.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Bulgarian graduate student and his American husband are the first gay couple in the nation to have their green card petition approved after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages, their lawyer says.

But Traian Popov, here on a student visa, won’t be able to work or visit his family back home for at least another six months while his green card can be processed. And his marriage to Julian Marsh, performed in New York, still won’t be recognized in Florida where they live.

“It’s unbelievable how that impacts you,” Marsh told The Associated Press on Sunday. “They make you feel more and more like a second-class citizen and they don’t want you. And that’s how I feel about Florida.”

Two days after the Supreme Court struck down a provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples, Marsh and Popov were notified Friday afternoon that their green card petition was approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/gay-couple-green-card-petition-93614.html#ixzz2Xr0WajLC

via Gay marriage couple wins green-card petition – POLITICO.com.

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Ten states to tackle gay marriage next – U.S. News

Energized by two big victories at the Supreme Court, advocates of gay marriage are turning their attention to a handful of states that they believe are most likely to allow it next.

One of those two wins made California the 13th state where gay couples can now legally get married. Counting the District of Columbia, gay marriage is legal in places covering about 30 percent of the U.S. population.

National gay rights groups say they now hope to persuade either the Supreme Court or Congress to legalize gay marriage across the country — in a matter of years, not decades.

via Ten states to tackle gay marriage next – U.S. News.

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