"Russians Settle On Definition Of ‘Anti-Gay Propaganda,’ Say Measure Has 90 Percent Support"
Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly member who authored the city’s pending anti-gay propaganda bill, said yesterday that he has not asked the Constitutional Court to review the measure and that its definitions would be guided by the court’s 2010 ruling recognizing a similar law of the Ryazan region. “We took the existing formulation and evaluation, the validity of which was confirmed by the judges,” he said, explaining that the measure will ban propaganda that “could harm the health, moral and spiritual development [of children] and allow them to form misconceptions about the social equivalence of traditional and nontraditional marriage.” Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Vadim Tyulpanov lashed out at the U.S. State Department for speaking out against the measure. “The U.S. Department of State has nothing else to do but mind our bill,” he said. “While the bill was debated, I started receiving e-mails from city residents supporting the bill. Over 90% of St. Petersburg citizens support the bill.” The measure passed the first of three readings, but further action has been pushed back until after the December elections.