A controversial bill that would have made it a punishable offense for men to come out as gay, bisexual or transgender has been rejected by the Russian Duma, Monday. The draft bill called for fines and arrests for offenders.
According to Radio Free Europe, the bill, which was rejected on Monday, January 18, was initiated by lawmakers from Russia's Communist Party. It called for a fine of up to $5,000 rubles (approximately $65 USD) for for publicly expressing personal "nontraditional sexual orientation."
The bill would have punished offenders with up to 15 days in prison for coming out at educational or cultural facilities for youth.
"We have our own idea of honor and conscience, and we must respect tradition. The scum that comes to us from the West is unnatural to Russia. These unconventional sexual desires do nothing but disgust normal, smart, healthy people," said Communist MP Ivan Nikitchuk, who introduced the failed bill according to the Russian News Service. "It is sick that disgusting people feel they should be treated the same."
In a report earlier this month, Gay Star News noted that the bill is only targeting gay men. Lawmakers said women are more "reasonable" and can "manage their emotions."