Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Defends Propaganda Bill

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 26 2013 4:33 PM ET

After the Dutch government and the European Union condemned Russia's proposed legislation banning "homosexual propaganda," Russia's foreign minister said his country is not obligated to follow their lead.

"We don't have a single international or common European commitment to allow propaganda of homosexuality," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said according to the Associated Press.

The nation-wide bill, which follows similar, controversial legislation for the city of St. Petersburg, Russia, would ban so-called propaganda aimed at minors, and fine people up to $16,000 for disseminating LGBT-related information to young people.

Lavrov said homosexuality has been decriminalized in Russia, so gay people can "go about their business absolutely freely and unpunished." He added that the country, however, has "its own moral, religious, and historical views." Still many Russians and people around the world have condemned the legislation, and Russian news outlets have covered discrimination and adversities faced by the country's LGBT population.