The lower house of Russia's parliament, the Duma, approved amendments to toughen a notorious 2013 "gay propaganda" law on Thursday, as Moscow presses with a conservative drive at home while its troops battle in Ukraine.
Rights campaigners, who condemn the 2013 law, say that in effect any act or public mention of same-sex couples is being criminalised.
The Duma website said lawmakers had "unanimously" voted to ban "the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" to all Russian adults in a first reading.
The bill still needs to be approved by the upper house of Russia's parliament, the Federation Council, before it can be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
The original 2013 law banned what authorities deemed as "gay propaganda" to minors, while the amendments would extend it to all Russian adults.
The new provisions set out a ban on "gay propaganda" in the media, internet, advertisement, literature and cinema.
Also included are bans on the "propaganda of paedophilia".
The bill would outlaw the "denial of family values" and also has a clause against propaganda that could "cause minors to desire to change their sex".
Foreigners who violate the law would face expulsion, according to its text.
Officials had urged parliament to adopt the law, portraying it as a part of a civilisational clash with the West that has intensified since the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine.
"A special military operation takes place not only on the battlefields, but also in the minds of people," senior lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein said on social media, lauding the law's approval.
He called on Russia to "protect" itself from the "threat" of same-sex relationships.
"This is for the future of our country: for the health of the nation, for demography."
- 'Another attempt to discriminate, humiliate' -
Some Russian book publishers and film producers have raised censorship concerns, saying the law could even affect productions of Russian classics.
The country's main gay rights NGO "Set" earlier this month called for lawmakers not to adopt the bill, calling it "another attempt to discriminate and humiliate the LGBT community."
The group called the law "absurd."
"The deputies assume that the capable adult population is not able to choose what they say, watch and read," the group said in a statement.
Putin has made social conservatism a cornerstone of his rule.
In his speech annexing Ukrainian territories last month, he railed against families with a "parent number one and a parent number two" -- apparently alluding to same-sex parenting.
New constitutional amendments passed in a controversial vote in 2020 define marriage in Russia exclusively as the union of a man and a woman.
In a ranking of 49 European countries, the Rainbow Europe organisation ranked Russia as fourth from the bottom in terms of tolerance of LGBTQ people.
© Agence France-Presse
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