The 2013 amendment, which added "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" as a class of harmful content under the law was, according to the Government of Russia, intended to protect children from being exposed to content that portrays homosexuality as being a "behavioural norm".Emphasis was placed upon a goal to protect "traditional" family values; bill author Yelena Mizulina (the chair of the Duma's Committee on Family, Women, and Children, who has been described by some as a "moral crusader"), The amendment also expanded upon similar laws enacted by several Russian regions, including Ryazan, Arkhangelsk (who repealed its law shortly after the passing of the federal version), and Saint Petersburg.They're people, just like everyone else, and they enjoy full rights and freedoms".As he put it, "Can you imagine an organization promoting pedophilia in Russia?Article 19 disputed the claimed intent of the law, and felt that many of the terms used within were too ambiguous, such as the aforementioned "non-traditional sexual relationships", and "raises interest in".The organization argued that it "feasibly could apply to any information regarding sexual orientation or gender identity that does not fit with what the State considers as in-line with 'tradition'." The use of the term "among minors" was also criticized, as it was unclear whether it refers to being in the presence of minors, or any place where minors could be present, arguing that "predicting the presence of children in any space, on-line or off-line, is quite impossible and is a variable that the proponent of any expression will rarely be in absolute control of." LGBT rights activists, human rights activists, and other critics stated that the broad and vague wording of the law, which was characterized as a ban on gay propaganda by the media, made it a crime to publicly make statements or distribute materials in support of LGBT rights, hold pride parades or similar demonstrations, state that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships, or according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin, even display LGBT symbols such as the rainbow flag or kiss a same-sex partner in public.Although claiming a risk of violence, the court interpreted the decisions as being in support of groups which oppose such demonstrations.
Foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days then deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles and deported.The fines for individuals are much higher if the offense was committed using mass media or internet.Over 100 conservative groups worldwide signed a petition in support for the law, with Larry Jacobs, manager of the World Congress of Families, supporting its aim to "prohibit advocacy aimed at involving minors in a lifestyle that would imperil their physical and moral health." President of Russia Vladimir Putin answered to early objections to the then-proposed bill in April 2013 by stating that "I want everyone to understand that in Russia there are no infringements on sexual minorities' rights.Gevisser writes that the law's passage allowed the Russian government to find "common ground" with the nationalist far right, and also appeal to the many Russians who view "homosexuality as a sign of encroaching decadence in a globalized era." He writes: "Many Russians feel they can steady themselves against this cultural tsunami by laying claim to 'traditional values,' of which rejection of homosexuality is the easiest shorthand.This message plays particularly well for a government wishing to mobilize against demographic decline (childless homosexuals are evil) and cozy up to the Russian Orthodox Church (homosexuals with children are evil)." Article 1 of the bill amended On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development with a provision classifying "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" as a class of materials that must not be distributed among minors.