Belarus prepares law against ‘LGBT propaganda’, state media says

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 5:36 AM

(Reuters) – Belarus has prepared a draft law punishing the “promotion of non-traditional relationships,” referring to LGBT relationships, Belarusian state news agency Belta reported on Monday.

Belta quoted Prosecutor General Andrei Shved as saying in a speech to lawmakers that a bill had been prepared establishing administrative liability for promoting “abnormal relationships, pedophilia, and the voluntary refusal to have children”.

The draft law is undergoing an approval procedure, he said.

An anti-gay propaganda law has been on the books in neighbouring Russia since 2013 and has effectively outlawed any public expression of the behaviour or lifestyle of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people.

Last December Russia’s Supreme Court banned what it called the “international LGBT social movement,” labelling it an extremist organisation.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Belarus in 1994, but the country does not recognise same-sex marriages and authorities have cracked down on LGBT pride parades.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has publicly mocked LGBT people, calling gay men “perverts” and “the ultimate abomination” in a speech to politicians last year.

Lukashenko is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies.

(Reporting by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Angus MacSwan)