Bill Aims to Ban Gay Deputies
Times, June 10, 2004
Ulitsa Vyborgskaya 16, Bldg. 4, 125212 Moscow, Russia
By Francesca Mereu, Staff Writer
The State Duma is to consider Friday a bill that would
ban alcoholics, homosexuals and pedophiles from holding seats in parliament.
The bill, which was submitted by the Kursk region’s
legislative assembly, would require newly elected deputies to undergo physical
and psychological examinations to make sure they are fit for office.
Health Ministry doctors would be responsible for
declaring each deputy free of alcoholism, homosexuality and pedophilia, as
well as several diseases, which are not specified in the bill.
“Chronic diseases and latent diseases undoubtedly
influence one’s capability to communicate and observe acceptable behavior
norms,” the bill says. “They prevent [deputies] from making decisions for
“Only people who are psychologically fit should aspire
for a Duma post,” a Kursk legislative assembly spokesman said Thursday. He
refused to give his name.
The bill is an amendment to a law on Duma elections and
is on the parliament’s agenda to come up for the first of three required
readings Friday. Alexander Volkov, a deputy from the pro-Kremlin United Russia
faction who was elected in Kursk, is to present the bill to the Duma.
“The bill is aimed at forming some regulations,” said
Volkov’s spokesman, Yury Svichainy.
However, he acknowledged that it was highly unlikely that
the bill would make it all the way to the reading Friday.
A number of deputies have slammed the bill as
unconstitutional, saying it fails to uphold the right to be presumed innocent
until proven guilty.
The Duma’s Committee on Constitutional Law and
Government Building has recommended that the Duma throw out the bill.
The bill was submitted to the Duma last year, Svichainy
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