Connect to share and comment

Russian lawmaker to propose gay blood donation ban, free conversion therapy

A Russian lawmaker who’s running to be Moscow’s next mayor says that he is working on a proposal to reinstate a ban on blood donation from gay people.

Russia gay propaganda billEnlarge
Gay rights activists take part in an anti-Putin rally in the central Arbat area in Moscow, on March 10, 2012. The partly seen makeshift poster (R) criticizes some "Russia's homophobic laws." (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

A Russian lawmaker who’s running to be Moscow’s next mayor says that he is working on a proposal to reinstate a ban on blood donation from gay people.

"We will suggest an amendment to the law on (blood) donations on the order of the Health Ministry that returns homosexuals to the list of contra-indicated donors," State Duma MP Mikhail Dyegtyaryov, who belongs to the populist-nationalist LDPR party, said, according to Interfax.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Monday, he noted that many countries, including the United States, France and Germany, ban blood donation from gay people. Russia lifted its ban in 2008.

Dyegtyaryov said such a step could not be considered discrimination since 65 percent of all HIV-positive people are homosexual, RT reported. He did not provide the source of this statistic.

Degtyarev also said that the lower house of parliament was drafting a plan to offer gay citizens free “conversion therapy” – voluntary anonymous consultations with psychologists, psychotherapists and sexologists to help them “return to normal life and become heterosexuals.”

In the US, California and New Jersey have passed laws over the past year or so barring licensed therapists from engaging in such consultations with minors.

Degtyarev added that he is not opposed to gay pride parades – as long as they are held “at night, with flashlights and without amplifiers," so that they don’t run afoul of Russia’s gay propaganda law, which bans children from witnessing pro-LGBT events.

More from GlobalPost: Russia defends anti-gay law in letter to the International Olympic Committee

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/130826/russian-lawmaker-propose-gay-blood-donation-ban-free-conv