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Russia Mulls Banning ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Over Gay Scene

At the urging of a member of his country’s ruling political party, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has agreed to scrutinize Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast for violations of Russia’s “gay propaganda” law.

On Saturday, the BBC reported that politician Vitaly Milonov of the United Russia party was urging Medinsky to screen the film to see if it adheres to the country’s 2013 law, the “Purpose of Protecting Children From Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values,” which prohibits the propagation of homosexual material among minors. Medinsky replied that he “will consider [the film] according to the law,” as soon as the country receives a screener.

This is only the latest instance of backlash following director Bill Condon’s announcement in last week’s Attitude magazine that the film would feature an “exclusively gay scene.” On Friday, the owners of an Alabama drive-in theater told Facebook followers that their theater would will boycott screening the film to protest companies “continually [forcing] their views on us.”

The BBC notes that homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 and removed from the country’s official listof psychiatric disorders in 1999. The film is set to be released in Russia on March 16th of this year.