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Russian parliament passes anti-gay bill

Associated Press
Police officers detain a demonstrator near the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament chamber, in Moscow Tuesday, June 11, 2013. A controversial bill banning "homosexual propaganda" is expected to be approved by Russia's lower house of parliament for the second and third of three hearings on Tuesday. Poster reads: "For Russia without homosexuals." (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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MOSCOW (AP) — The lower house of Russia's parliament has overwhelmingly passed a bill that stigmatizes the gay community and bans the distribution of information about homosexuality to children.

The State Duma voted 434-0 with one abstention on Tuesday to approve the Kremlin-backed legislation, which imposes hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to minors.

The bill still needs to be approved by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but neither step is in doubt.

The measure is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church see as corrupting Russian youth and contributing to the protests against Putin's rule.

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