By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com July 23 2013 3:21 PM ET
Gay activists in Moldova are figuring out the next course of action after the country's lawmakers quietly passed a law similar to Russia's antigay propaganda law.
The new law does not specifically mention homosexuality, but it would punish anyone who distributes public information "at the propagation of prostitution, pedophilia, pornography, or any other [intimate] relations [other] than those related to marriage or family," with a fine of 8,000 Leu (or about $650 USD).
Angela Frolov, the head of GenderDoc-M said members of her organization had only learned of the new law after it was officially published a week later, according to Radio Free Europe. She said she believes that this law likely violates the Moldovan constitution, and international policy like the European Union's antidiscrimination laws.
The legislation was signed by President Nicolae Timofti on July 5. It was one of 16 laws that were enacted without public notice or discussion over a two-day period in May.
Russian President Vladimir Putin officially signed a law earlier this summer, which outlawed so-called homosexual propaganda throughout Russia. The law, which was passed unanimously by both houses of Russia's Parliament, imposes a fine of up to 5,000 rubles ($168 USD) for any citizen who shares information discussing "non-traditional sexual relations" with minors that might cause a "distorted understanding" that gay and lesbian relationships are "socially equivalent" to heterosexual pairings.
Last week, four Dutch tourists were arrested in northern Russia for allegedly violating that law while participating in a "Youth Human Rights Camp" that discussed LGBT issues.