Russian lawmaker introduces bill to deprive gay and lesbian people of parenting rights

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Russian lawmaker has submitted to the Russian Duma a piece of legislation which seeks to have the parental rights of gay people removed.

Lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov has proposed a bill which would deny gay parents custody over their own children. If passed it would make “non traditional sexual orientation” a basis for the deprivation of parental rights. It places same-sex sexual orientation in the same category as alcohol and drug abuse.

If passed the law would follow on from a piece of legislation signed into law by President Putin in July that banned gay and lesbian couples from foreign countries from adopting children.

In June of this year the Duma controversially passed a law which banned the promotion of “non traditional” relationships. This has gained international attention, with the Winter Olympics taking place in Russia next year.

LGBT activist have put pressure on both the International Olympic Committee and politicians to support a boycott of the Sochi Olympics. President Putin has sought to reassure the rest of the world by claiming that his country is not homophobic and that the Games will run smoothly. This is despite the fact that lawmakers have said that the anti-gay laws will not be suspended during the Games.

Today Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge admitted there was little he could do to influence Russia over their anti-gay laws in the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

Out4Russia, launched last week and allows users to lobby G20 governments into action against the Russian law.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday spoke out against the law to say that Britain’s foreign policy must have “a conscience”, and that it is in the nature of Britain to “stand up for human rights overseas.”

The interview came a day after it was confirmed that David Cameron will raise the issue of the Russian law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships”, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, when he travels to St Petersburg for the G20 this week.

President Barack Obama is also reportedly to meet LGBT activists in the Russian city of St Petersburg during his trip to the city as part of a G20 Heads of Government meeting. BuzzFeed made the claim citing Russian LGBT activists.

Protests have taken place around the globe, including in London, as well as in Germany and Denmark, in an attempt to push G20 Government leaders to take action against anti-gay laws in Russia.