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HRW Slams Effects Of Russia's Gay 'Propaganda' Law, One Year On

The New York-based watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that, one year later, Russia’s law banning gay "propaganda" has served as a tool for antigay discrimination, even though Russian authorities have fined only four people for violating it.

The law -- passed unanimously by the Russian parliament -- entered into force on June 30, 2013. It bans the dissemination among children of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships."

HRW says its research has found that the law’s adoption has coincided with the spread of violence and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and LGBT rights activists in Russia and a rise in homophobic hate speech by some Russian officials and public figures.

"This law openly discriminates against LGBT people, legitimizes anti-LGBT violence, and seeks to erase LGBT people from the country’s public life," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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