Beauty and the Beast lands 16+ rating in Russia
Children under age 16 won't be able to go to the new Disney film Beauty and the Beast in Russia because it includes a gay character, the Russian Culture Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry told The Associated Press in an emailed statement that its decision for the 16-plus rating followed petitions by lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, known for his ultraconservative views, petitioned for the live-action film to be banned.
In a letter released Saturday by the RIA Novosti news agency, Milonov protested the screening of a movie that disseminates "overt and shameless propaganda of sin and sexual perversion under the guise of a fairy tale."
Milonov, who was elected to the State Duma last year, is a former local lawmaker in St. Petersburg who has built his political career on opposing LGBT rights.
In 2013, Russia passed a federal law banning "gay propaganda" among minors. It was worded vaguely so it can be applied in a wide range of circumstances, for example, making it easy to target gay and lesbian teachers in Russia because they work directly with children. The law was modelled on a St. Petersburg bill that Milonov authored a year earlier