The Patiko Antiliberasti Mxilebadze Facebook account, whose pieces of disinformation have been verified by FactCheck multiple times in the past, wrote that a law was adopted in Belgium which prohibits propaganda about traditional families. The Facebook post says: “According to the law, a person who carries out the dissemination of propaganda about a traditional family will be fined EUR 200 for the first time and if repeated will face two years term in jail.” In fact, this information is false and Belgium has not adopted such a law.

Information that Belgium has adopted a law of this kind cannot be found in any search engine or on the website of any reliable media outlet. The purpose of this kind of pro-Kremlin narrative is to portray the West as being against traditional values.

This disinformation was circulated by the Russian satirical publication as early as in 2020. According to the publication, the Belgian Parliament adopted a law that would ban the promotion of family values on 14 February 2020 following a long discussion. The article read that the Speaker of the Parliament, Mark Kaaskopper, called the adoption of the document "a historic victory of the Belgian people over obscurantism and medieval superstitions".

The fact-checking organisation writes that none of the articles published by reflect reality and the aforementioned media outlet has published fake stories many times.

Disinformation about the law adopted in Belgium was disseminated by the Georgian Information Agency, an online media outlet. The article reads: "The government reserves the right to record and study the statements of public figures and religious preachers. The crime will be considered especially serious if it is committed by parents against their own children - in this case, adherents of heterosexual orientation face imprisonment from seven to 15 years and the permanent deprivation of parental rights.” At the same time, the information in regard to the law was reported live by Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, the leader of the pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots of Georgia party.

The dissemination of the aforementioned piece of disinformation may also be related to the draft law adopted in Belgium on 27 June 2023. The Justice Committee of the Belgian Parliament has backed a bill to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+ people. The bill envisions imprisonment from eight days to two years as well as a fine (from EUR 208 to EUR 2,400). Of note is that that several EU member states, such as France, Germany, Greece and Malta, have already banned this practice.

For reference, conversion therapy. sometimes called "reparative therapy" or "gay healing therapy," involves changing one's sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to being ineffective and discriminatory, conversion therapy may involve practices dangerous to a person's physical and mental health such as the use of electronic shocks, beatings and "corrective rape." It should be noted that the anti-conversion therapy bill has nothing to do with the ban on promoting family values.

Therefore, Belgium has not adopted a law that bans the propaganda of family values.


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