Russian parliament passes 'gay propaganda' ban
By Anna Smolchenko
The Russian parliament on Tuesday passed two controversial bills that impose jail terms for people promoting homosexual "propaganda" to minors and those who offend religious believers amid fears the measures will be used to persecute the opposition to Vladimir Putin.
Ahead of the vote, gay activists staged a kissing protest outside the parliament but they were outnumbered by several hundred supporters of the bill, some carrying religious icons.
A police spokesman said around 20 were detained in ensuing scuffles.
The bill against "homosexual propaganda" to minors sailed through the State Duma lower house of parliament in a 436-to-0 vote with one abstention. (...)
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