Russia seeks to ban adoption to foreign gay couples

18th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday debated a bill which would place tough restrictions on adoption to countries where same-sex marriages are legal, following France's vote last month allowing such unions.

The bill could ban people in over a dozen countries from adopting Russian orphans even if they are single, according to proposed amendments being discussed in the Duma lower house of parliament.

It is likely to be swiftly passed and President Vladimir Putin has already vowed to sign it into law. The bill, already in the second of three readings, will be voted on later Tuesday.

The restriction would follow the passage last year of an adoption ban for citizens of the United States despite massive protests and petitions by thousands of people.

The new amendments to Russia's family code say those to be banned from adoption include "persons in a marriage union between people of the same sex registered in a state where such a union is allowed, as well as citizens of such states that are not married."

"Adoption of this bill de-facto eliminates the chance for foreign persons of so-called non-traditional sexual orientation to adopt Russian children," one of the bill's authors Yelena Mizulina said in televised remarks.

The wording implies that couples in a heterosexual marriage would still be allowed to adopt Russian children. But single people would be banned, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Same sex marriages are currently legal in 14 countries, including Canada, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, with France being the latest addition to the list.

The Russian amendment was added to a broader bill passed in an initial reading in April that aimed to encourage adoption by Russian families.

It followed the law that went into effect in January, which banned adoptions to the United States, a country that adopted hundreds of children from Russia every year.

Russia has in recent months unleashed a campaign defending "traditional values" and the Duma last week passed a controversial bill that imposes jail terms on people seen as promoting homosexual "propaganda".

The bill, which has not yet been signed by Putin into law, would make it an offence to say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual ones.

© 2013 AFP

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