Russia's LGBT community scored a rare win this week when a parliamentary committee didn't advance a bill that would have fined same-sex couples for kissing and other PDAs. Gay and bisexual people would have been fined between $50 and $65 while displays of "non-traditional sexual relations" near schools or youth services would have resulted in jail time up to 15 days.
"We're glad the committee is resolved to reject this homophobic bill," Human Rights Watch's Russia program director Tanya Lokshina told Voice of America. "However, the parliament has yet to repeal the 'gay propaganda' bill which has done tremendous damage to Russia's LGBT people."
The so-called "gay propaganda" legislation has made it a crime to "promote" same-sex relations among minors, which has translated to public bans on pride festivals and other public LGBT events. Numerous LGBT Russians told Voice of America that anti-LGBT prejudice and attacks have increased since the "gay propaganda" law passed in 2013 and was signed by president Vladimir Putin.