Russia: Ban on adoption by same-sex couples unanimously passed at second reading

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Russian lawmakers have voted unanimously to pass legislation banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, as well as single parents who live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

The Duma, or lower parliamentary house, voted 443-0 to approve the draft law, as well as related amendments to Russian family law. RIA Novosti reports that there will be a final reading and vote on 21 June before passing to the upper house, the Federation Council.

President Vladimir Putin has already indicated his approval of the bill, stating “If such a law is passed by the Parliament of the country, I will sign it.”

Two weeks ago, the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, said it is only “logical” to halt adoptions of Russian children by French couples due to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in France.

In the light of France having passed a bill to legalise equal marriage on 18 May, President Putin said he was happy to consider changing agreements to block gay couples from adopting Russian orphans.

On 11 June the Duma voted 436-0 with one abstention to pass a bill imposing a hefty fine for anyone “promoting the distorted understanding of social equality of traditional and non-traditional sex relations”.

The bill has caused outrage among the LGBT community and human rights supporters. Some called for the jailing of one of the bill’s sponsors, Yelena Mizulina.

The Moscow Times notes that in a recent television interview, Mrs Mizulina suggested introducing legislation to remove children from same-sex couples.