St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly passed on Wednesday a law penalizing the dissemination of material promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.
The law, passed in the third and final reading, imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors.
Twenty-nine of 50 legislators voted for the law with five against and one abstention.
It follows similar bans in the southern Astrakhan and central Ryazan and Kostroma regions in Russia.
The new legislation effectively outlaws any Gay Pride events.
The St. Petersburg LGBT group Coming Out said the bill was “homophobic” and aimed at diverting public attention from Russia’s “real political and social problems.”
Homosexuality was illegal in the Soviet Union and was only decriminalized by the late President Boris Yeltsin in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment is still widespread.