Last edited: June 12, 2004

Russian Bill Would Bar Gays, Alcoholics, Pedophiles

PlanetOut Network, June 11, 2004

By Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network

SUMMARY: A bill being considered by the Russian government groups homosexuals with alcoholics and pedophiles, suggesting all three be banned from positions in the country’s parliament.

A bill being considered Friday by the Russian government groups homosexuals with alcoholics and pedophiles when it comes to banning people from positions in the Duma, the country’s parliament.

A deputy from the Kursk region submitted the bill, which if passed, would require newly elected deputies to undergo physical and psychological examinations.

“Chronic diseases and latent diseases undoubtedly influence one’s capability to communicate and observe acceptable behavior norms,” the bill said according to the Moscow Times. “They prevent [deputies] from making decisions for their electorate.”

The spokesman for the deputy presenting the bill, Yury Svichainy, told the paper, “The bill is aimed at forming some regulations.”

However, he admitted it was unlikely the bill would make it all the way to the reading Friday.

The bill has been the target of intense criticism.

The Duma’s Committee on Constitutional Law and Government Building has recommended it be thrown out from consideration. A number of deputies have complained that the legislation assumes one is guilty until proven innocent and is consequently unconstitutional.

The Duma has already rejected anti-gay legislation. On May 28, a bill making homosexual sex between men illegal was overturned by a vote of 58-34.

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