Last edited: February 14, 2005

Russian Lawmaker Wants Lesbianism Outlawed

Advocate, May 16, 2002

A Russian lawmaker on Tuesday proposed introducing a ban on lesbianism—weeks after another official called for reinstating the Soviet-era ban on male homosexuality. Alexei Mitrofanov, a nationalist member of the lower house of parliament, told reporters that he and other lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make lesbian relations a criminal offense.

Mitrofanov said the measure would help solve the problem of Russia’s rapidly declining population. "If a woman doesn’t observe moral, ethical norms, then there were will be no growth in the birth rate," he said.

In April, Gennady Raikov, the leader of a pro-Kremlin parliamentary faction, said he and other legislators had drafted a bill that would reinstate criminal punishment for homosexuality. According to media reports, that bill calls for prison sentences of up to five years for men who engage in gay sex.

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