MOSCOW -- A bill that stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality won overwhelming approval Tuesday in Russia's lower house of parliament.

Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of anti-gay activists and then detained by police.

The bill banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but neither step is in doubt.

The measure is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values instead of Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church see as corrupting Russian youth and contributing to the protests against Putin's rule.

The only parliament member to abstain Tuesday was Ilya Ponomaryov, who has supported anti-Putin protesters despite belonging to a pro-Kremlin party.

A widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by much of Russia's political and religious elite. Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia's already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled.

The State Duma passed another bill on Tuesday that makes offending religious feelings a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. The legislation, which passed 308-2, was introduced last year after three members of the Pussy Riot punk group were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for an impromptu anti-Putin protest inside Moscow's main cathedral and given two-year sentences.

Both bills drew condemnation from Amnesty International.

"They represent a sorry attempt by the government to bolster its popularity by pandering to the most reactionary elements of Russian society – at the expense of fundamental rights and the expression of individual identities," John Dalhuisen, the human rights group's Europe and Central Asia program director, said in a statement.

Before the anti-gay vote, rights activists attempted to hold a "kissing rally" outside the State Duma, located across the street from Red Square in central Moscow, but they were attacked by hundreds of Orthodox Christian activists and members of pro-Kremlin youth groups. The mostly burly young men with closely cropped hair pelted the activists with eggs, shouting obscenities and homophobic slurs at them.

Riot police moved in, detaining more than two dozen protesters, almost all of them gay rights activists. Some who were not detained were beaten by masked men on another central street.

The legislation will impose hefty fines for providing information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to minors or holding gay pride rallies. Those breaking the law will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($156) for an individual and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for a company, including media organizations.

Foreign citizens arrested under the new law can be deported or jailed for up to 15 days and then deported. European gay rights activists have joined Russians in trying to hold gay pride rallies in Moscow in recent years.

Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains high. Russia also is considering banning citizens of countries that allow same-sex marriage from adopting Russian children.

Earlier Tuesday, dozens of anti-gay activists picketed the Duma. One of them held a poster that read: "Lawmakers, protect the people from perverts!" while others held Orthodox icons and chanted prayers.

Russian and foreign rights activists have decried the bill as violating basic rights.

"Russia is trying very hard to make discrimination look respectable by calling it `tradition,' but whatever term is used in the bill, it remains discrimination and a violation of the basic human rights of LGBT people," Graeme Reid, the LGBT rights program director at Human Rights Watch, said Tuesday in a statement.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva, one of Russia's oldest and most prominent rights activists, called the law "a step toward the Middle Ages."

"In normal countries, no one persecutes representatives of sexual minorities," Alexeyeva told the Interfax news agency. "A modern person knows that these people are different from the rest just like a brunette is different from a blonde. They are not guilty of anything."

Russian officials have rejected the criticism. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov defended the bill in February, saying that Russia doesn't have any international or European commitment to "allow the propaganda of homosexuality."

An executive with a Russian government-run television network said in a nationally televised talk show that gays should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm or organs for transplants, and after their deaths their hearts should be burned or buried.

The bill's adoption comes 20 years after a Stalinist-era law punishing homosexuality with up to five years in prison was removed from Russia's penal code as part of democratic reforms that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

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AP writer Lynn Berry contributed to this report.

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  • New York

    From Scott G. Brown aka Gene Brown, a member and participant of the 1969 Stonewall Inn raid and riots: "My ailing health has prevented me from making this 1,200 mile trip by Bus for next week's Pride Parade, but I can, truthfully, say that I was there in June 2011."

  • Washington, D.C.

    From Ashley Bartolome: "I took these photos at the Pride Parade in Washington, DC on June 9, 2012." What I love about pride is not only seeing but feeling the acceptance of everyone there. Gays, lesbians, heterosexuals and families attend every year supporting with cheers and smiles. I make it a point to attend pride every year not just for myself, but to give a voice and be a face for all LGBT people who can't speak up due to their closets or fears. I want to show them that it's ok to be who they are and there are countless Americans who accept them. I also like to be there out of respect for the LGBT who have been killed by others - or by their own hands - because of their sexuality.

  • Sao Paulo, Brazil

    From Welton Trindade, journalist and a gay activist: "I took part of Sao Paulo LGBT Parade. The march was realized on Sunday, June 10. That was the 16th edition of the event. Well, I wanted to show my body but a parade, in my opinion, is not just fun! So I've decided to show my muscles and, in the same time, to send a good message. The solution: to write 'Poder gay' (or 'Gay power') on my chest! It was a great experience!"

  • Zurich, Switzerland

    Vorstand, the organization team from the Zurich Pride Festival is meeting Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, from left: Chriss, Patrik, Nathalie, Simonetta Sommaruga and David.

  • Berlin, Germany

    From Eva Adams: "Hundreds of thousands came out to celebrate gay rights in Berlin this year and I had the privilege of riding on a hetero-leaning wagon in support...It was extra special to land at the Reichstag with tens of thousands behind us celebrating love and tolerance. I'm not able to pick a best photo but needed to share. Thanks for your project!"

  • Bologna, Italy

    From Marilena: "I was at this year's national italian Gay Pride in Bologna! It was my first pride and it was amazing! I felt surrounded by so much love and most of all I felt safe and proud of who I am! Baci!"

  • Brussels, Belgium

    From Evert Hermans & Birger De Rese: "We've been married for 4 years now. We're proud to have in Belgium legalized same sex marriage!"

  • Seoul, South Korea

    From Nate Meyer: "I am an American teaching English here in South Korea, I recently

  • West Hollywood, California

    From married couple Andi & Carissa: "Our pup Simon enjoyed his first Pride Parade in West Hollywood on June 10!"

  • Shanghai, China

    From Abby Lavin, a volunteer with shanghaiPRIDE, who shares this image of a "Pink Picnic" (photo taken by Linda Li)

  • Tel Aviv, Israel

    From The Israel Project

  • Gran Canaria, Spain

    From Chris Wadsworth: "This is (left to right) myself, Gareth and Daniel at Maspalomas GayPride 2012 in Gran Canaria, Spain. The whole island (and thousands from all over Europe) turn up for the week long event every May to celebrate and meet LGBT people from all over the world!"

  • Meridas, Mexico

    From Memo Macas: "It was the first time that I ever participated in the event and I really enjoyed it, next year I'll go with my boyfriend to Mexico City's Pride Parade."

  • Baton Rouge, Louisana

    From Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge: "We made history in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday, June 23, with the first ever statewide Equality March. Here's a picture of both the youngest and the oldest marchers!"

  • Philadelphia

    From Daniel Douglass, founder/director of Flaggots: "Here's a photo of FLAGGOTS performing to Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' at Philly Pride, June 10. FLAGGOTS are a group of friends from the color guard and drum corps community that come together to celebrate Pride in a most fabulous way. Founded in 1991, they have performed in at least one pride event a year for 23 consecutive years.'

  • Chicago

    From Karen Belgrad: "At my friend's apartment, overlooking the parade route, he casually tosses out beads...and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel catches them with ease! OK, and a little lunging!)"

  • Los Angeles

    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sergeant Don Mueller and LAX Airport Police Officer David Ayala celebrate pride as they prepare to march with over 60 other openly gay officers in the 2012 West Hollywood CSW Pride Parade.

  • Waikiki, Hawaii

    From Bob Brennan: "Also there was a party at Allah Moana Beach Park. Everybody was gay that day."

  • Columbus, Ohio

    From Keli Stooksberry: The picture on the right is my friend Courtney talking to protesters. The picture on the left is of my partner DeAnna and I kissing in front of the protesters. This was my second pride and the first interaction with protesters. I was not surprised but still overwhelmed by their presence in such a wonderful and uplifting celebration. My friend Courtney had one of them speechless by the end of their conversation not by throwing obscenities his way but rather using her knowledge of scripture. Again, I was not surprised that the man she spoke with had no more knowledge of the bible than the words written on his sign but it was priceless to see him have nothing left to say because Courtney was right!

  • Baton Rouge, Louisana

    From John Desselle: "It only took what, 42 years, for Baton Rouge to have a state wide Equality March. Headed up by Capital City Alliance: www.ccabatonrouge.org, we had representatives from all over the state. About 300 people showed up for the march. Most went on to our Baton Rouge Pride Festival which was at LSU Student Union this year."

  • Queens, New York

    From Michael Cruz: "I am the Secretary of the Queens Pride Lions Club. We are the first LGBT Lions Club in NYC. Here is a photo of us marching in the Queens Pride 2012 parade on June 3."

  • Berlin, Germany

    From Teena Lashmore: "Hi from Berlin!"

  • Houston

    Melanie Pang (in pink) taking a photo with the men (and "noodles") of Jenni's Noodle House, a Houston favorite.

  • Indianapolis, Indiana

    From William George: "This is me at Indianapolis Pride 2012. I consider myself a Pride aficionado. I love all the togetherness and the fun times. This year's Indianapolis Pride was the largest the city had ever hosted, with the festival expanding to twice the size it was previously. The headliners were Deborah Cox and Cazwell. While I didn't get to see him in person, I snapped this picture next to a promotional poster of him."

  • Madison, Wisconsin

    Jenny Lee tells us: "I am the girl wearing the rainbow sarong, under the banner that says 'Coming out, coming together.' It was taken in August 22, 2011 during a Wisconsin Pride parade. None of my friends was in the event. I had just finished my run that day when I noticed that something was going on. When I realized it was a LGBTQ Pride event, I went home home, grabbed my sarong that I got in Thailand and jumped right into the parade to show my support and that's why the picture. I had only been in Madison, WI for about 3 months. I moved to the city for grad school. What I noticed about the community is that it's liberal, tolerant and I felt belong...I'm straight and I stand for equality."

  • Athens, Greece

    From gay superhero: "I didn't manage to be at the parade from the beginning, but that gave me the chance to find myself at the head of the march later, as they were going up Stadiou street. This is a central Athens street that saw a lot of disturbances during recent protests, including the death of three bank employees when their building caught fire. So it was nice to see a pacifist, colorful demonstration for a change."

  • Los Angeles

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck march in the 2012 West Hollywood CSW Pride Parade with over 60 openly gay peace officers from the LASD, LAPD, FBI and other police departments throughout southern California.

  • Toronto, Canada

    From Melissa: "This is me and my partner Jean. The first picture was taken at Toronto Pride in 2010 -- we are just up on Church Street. Our first pride and we are still very happily together 3 years later!"

  • Brooklyn, New York

    From Bob: "Five-year-old corgi Carter (recently rescued from a shelter in Alabama) steps out Brooklyn to celebrate his first LGBT Pride in New York City."

  • Philadelphia

    From right to left: Stephanie (far right) with girlfriend Jackie (left of me) along with best friends Erika and Katie at Philadelphia Pride in front of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Penns Landing.

  • New York City

    Sharon Needles performs at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration in NYC on June 20.

  • Boston

    From T.J.

  • Boston

    From T.J.

  • Amarillo, Texas

    Happy Gay Pride 2012 from Amarillo, TX -- Route 66 Cadillac Ranch!

  • Amarillo, Texas

    Happy Gay Pride 2012 from Amarillo, Texas -- Cadilliac Ranch!

  • Charleston, West Virginia

  • Boston

    From T.J.

  • Waikiki, Hawaii

    From Bob Brennan: "It was a gay (happy) sunny day on O'ahu. First there was a parade from Ala Moana Beach park to Kapiolani Park where there was a celebration. Also there was a party at Allah Moana Beach Park."

  • Detroit, Michigan

    From Gary.

  • Huntington, New York

    From Maosung Yao: "I went to [Long Island Pride] with my partner Walter last weekend and we had a good time with our friends as well. The pride was great even thought it was small.

  • Denver, Colorado

    From Adam Barnhardt: "I'm the one with the rainbow mohawk, the one with the Pink hair and football gear is Emilio Cordova, and the one in white with the body paint is Loa Brannigan. We were featured in Metro State's student newspaper for our bizarre homemade outfits and all around theatrical method of showing pride in our true colors."

  • Los Angeles

    From Angela Huerta, rider: "First time [Kristin Holloway and I] participated in Dykes on Bikes!"

  • New York City

    Sharon Needles performs at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration in NYC on June 20.

  • Sacramento, California

  • Washington, D.C.

    From Ashley Bartolome: "I want to show them that it's ok to be who they are and there are countless Americans who accept them. I also like to be there out of respect for the LGBT who have been killed by others -- or by their own hands -- because of their sexuality."

  • Washington, D.C.

    The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is a multicultural youth agency for youth of all backgrounds with the mission to support youth and their families to live, work, and study with dignity, hope and joy. LAYC staff and youth participants walked in the parade with hand-made tie-dye t-shirts handing out candy and information about LAYC's LGBT support services. We had a fantastic time feeling the love and support of the community.

  • Phoenix

    From Betty Viveros: "I got the greatest experience to participate in my first of many PRIDE festivals in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year. I went with a group of my closest friends who are all, like myself are huge LGBQT supporters. Walking around shirtless guys and half-naked girls never looked so hot...literally. It hit 100 degrees that weekend!"

  • New York City

    Sharon Needles fans root her on at the Barefoot Wine Pride Kick Off Celebration on June 20.

  • Providence, Rhode Island

    From Mark Peters, who took this photo of Providence's "Nighttime Illuminated Pride Parade" on June 16.

  • Boston

    Miss Trans New England

  • Washington, D.C.

    Jeff, Sal and Michael enjoy beverages in the scorching heat.