Last edited: June 20, 2004

Russia Rejects Anti-Gay Bill, June 14, 2004

By Newscenter Staff

Moscow—The Russian Parliament has refused to consider a contentious bill that linked gays with pedophiles and alcoholics. The legislation, if passed would have barred people in all three groups from holding seats in the Duma, the Russian Parliament.

It would have required all newly elected deputies to undergo physical and psychological examinations to make sure they were “fit for office”.

The bill was sponsored in parliament by Alexander Volkov, a Duma deputy from Kursk. When it came up for first reading deputies voted overwhelmingly not to consider the legislation.

This was the second attempt to bring the bill into the Duma, and under the rules of the Parliament, it is now dead.

Prior to the vote, a number of deputies had slammed the legislation as unconstitutional, saying it failed to uphold the right of citizens to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

In April, a bill that would have made gay sex illegal was also rejected.

Homosexuality was illegal under the old Communist regime, but was decriminalized after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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