NOVO-OGAREVO, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned that agreements with other countries on the matter of adoption of Russian children may be changed to ban such adoptions if those countries legalize same-sex marriage.
Putin’s remarks came in response to a question regarding a proposal by Marina Orgievoy, head of the regional parliament of Kaliningrad, who, referring to the recent change in France legalizing same-sex marriages, had publicly criticized French lawmakers.
Orgievoy, noting the Russian-French agreement, said the agreement must be modified, “so that our children do not fall into the same-sex families.”
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Currently, Russia’s Family Code does not allow adoption by same-sex couples.
“She is right. We have to react to what is going on around us. We treat our partners with respect, but we ask that they treat with respect the cultural traditions, the ethic, legal and moral norms of Russia,” said Putin, speaking to reporters Friday at his presidential estate, just west of the Russian capital city.
“I believe I have the right to introduce changes into such documents. This is a topical question; we need to think about this,” he said.
Putin’s statement would imply that a legal ban could be adopted soon as policy by the Russian government.
As same-sex marriage legislation moves through the Parliament of the UK, the Russian foreign ministry’s human rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov warned this week, “The British and French parliaments have legalized same sex marriages. This narrows the chances of citizens of these countries adopting Russian children.”
Article continues belowFrance became the 14th country worldwide and the ninth in Europe to approve gay marriage this past week. In 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, parents in France adopted 283 Russian children, while British parents took in 48.
The adoption of Russian children has already become a highly emotionally charged political issue in the Russian Federation after Putin signed a ban on adoption of Russian children by U.S. parents in December.
That prohibition was a response to numerous highly publicized incidents of abuse, and in a couple of cases deaths, of Russian children adopted by American parents.
There continues to be anti-gay sentiment expressed in Russia as gay pride events have been routinely vetoed by city authorities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novosibirsk and several regions of Russia have adopted a ban on “homosexual propaganda” among minors.
Those laws have been used to detain LGBT rights activists who were carrying rainbow flags.
It was also announced Friday that one of the leading Russian LGBT rights activists, Aleksei Kiselyov, who fled Russia to avoid prosecution by the Putin government for his protest activities, was granted political asylum in Spain on Thursday, and that the Spanish government granted Kiselyov a five-year permanent resident permit.