Russia has expanded its law banning “LGBT propaganda” in the national media. The law, which was first passed in 2013, prohibited “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” in any media intended for children. The recent amendment to the law has expanded that to include adults, which activists say essentially bans all LGBTQ+ content from media in Russia.
as pointed out pc gamer, Russian politician Yana Lantratova offered a specific list of games in November that included gay content now banned under the amended law. The list includes various games from Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Dragon Age, Life Is Strange, The Last of Us, Fallout, Apex Legends, RimWorld, Overwatch, The Sims, and more. Individuals showing such games would face fines of up to 400,000 rubles (approximately $6,350 USD), while businesses and organizations could face fines of up to 5 million rubles (approximately $80,000 USD).
It’s not quite clear what constitutes “gay propaganda” at this point, as the new law has yet to be tried in court and is extremely vaguely worded. The Duma’s chairman of the information policy committee, Aleksandr Khinshtein, described the law as a ban on statements praising Oscar Wilde’s writings as “thanks to his guidance”, but simply mentioning that he was a gay man would not be in against the law.
However, activists who spoke to the Moscow Times stated that the law is so vague that it can easily be interpreted as an outright ban on any media featuring LGBTQ+ people. Other activists who spoke to Reuters pointed out that the law also prohibits advertising for gay bars and events, and that public displays of affection between adults could also be illegal. Homosexuality was a crime in Russia until 1993, and even now many LGBTQ+ report a generally hostile environment.
Meanwhile, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine is going from strength to strength. The Russian Black Sea Fleet lost its flagship, hundreds of Russian soldiers die every day, and Ukraine has even mocked the Russian military using a Grand Theft Auto meme.
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