Moldova To Consider Russia-Style “Homosexual Propaganda” Ban

Jim Burroway

June 8th, 2016

MoldovaThe European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights has warned that the parliament of Moldova is set to consider a Russian-style “homosexual propaganda ban.” Like Russia’s law passed in 2013, the Moldova law would impose fines for spreading “homosexual propaganda” to minors “through public meetings, the media, the Internet,” and other means. The Culture and Education Committee of the Moldovan Parliament green-lighted the bill last month. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

The latest salvo in Moldova’s long-running cultural conflict was fired by the Socialist Party, the parliament’s largest party. They brought the measure to committee on May 25, four years to the day after the country adopted a European Union-backed antidiscrimination law that social conservatives angrily opposed. Since that law was adopted, “homosexual propaganda in Moldova has become more aggressive,” the new bill’s sponsors wrote.

“What we are talking about is the public impact,” Socialist deputy Vlad Batrancea told RFE/RL. “We want to ban the propaganda of this phenomenon because there is the danger that children might fall victim to it in schools. This danger is real because so many parents are working abroad and the children left behind are vulnerable to such actions.”

Igor Dodon

Igor Dodon

Moldova’s parliament rejected an attempt to overturn the anti-discrimination law earlier this year. According to RFE/RL, Moldova’s parliament is nearly evenly split between the socially-conserviatve Socialists and Communists on one side, and three generally pro-European parties on the other. Observers believe the bill may be a bid to increase Socialist Party leader Igor Dodon’s popularity in the upcoming presidential elections. Dodon has called for closer political and economic relations with Moscow, and was a featured speaker at last month’s World Congress of Families in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Moldova passed a similar law in May of 2013, but it was quietly rescinded when it became clear that the legislation would threaten Moldova’s bid for Association status with the European Union. Moldova and the EU reached an initial agreement for Association status in 2014. That agreement must still be ratified by EU member countries.

Ulrike Lunacek, a Green party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Austria and co-President of the EU’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, called the recent developments “worrying.” “She added, “However, as a European state cherishing European values of freedom, equality and non-discrimination, I am confident Moldova and the majority of her lawmakers, will resist the Russian-inspired anti-propaganda bill.”

The Intergroup’s Vice President Tanja Falon, Social Democratic MEP from Slovenia, said, “Although the content of the bill worries us, I am glad to see that there are politicians speaking out against the bill. It is simply unacceptable that people could be punished for sharing objective information about LGBTI issues. As a fellow parliamentarian, I call on all Moldovan parliamentarians to join in speaking out against this bill, and stand up for the rights of the LGBTI community.” Falon is part of the EU-Moldova delegation.

American anti-gay extremists, including Scott Lively and Paul Cameron, had long seen Moldova as a key battleground against LGBT people.

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