Putin awards honour to homophobic extremist behind Russia’s anti-gay law

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Vladimir Putin has awarded one of Russia’s highest civilian honours to Vitaly Milonov – the architect of the country’s law banning ‘gay propaganda’.

Milonov, who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg for Putin’s United Russia Party, is one of the country’s most notorious homophobes.

The politician has waged a moral crusade against LGBT rights, and was the architect of the country’s law banning ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships’ – which the Russian President signed into law in 2013.

He is also known to have led ‘raids’ on LGBT groups and establishment, following through on a threat earlier this year to raid a lesbian club ‘for a joke’ after two women kissed behind him on an airplane.

However, according to the Moscow Times, he was this week granted one of the country’s highest civilian honours – a Second-Class Order ‘For Merit to the Fatherland’.

It is awarded for “outstanding contributions to the state associated with the development of Russian statehood” – with Milonov’s order thought to be for his work as a lawmaker.

Milonov has become if anything more extreme about his views in recent years.

He recently called for Facebook to be blocked in Russia – after the social network introduced a rainbow profile picture filter to celebrate same-sex marriage becoming law in the US.

He claimed: “Facebook has no age limits, it is impossible to control how many minors are there. That is why it would be completely normal to pull the plug on Facebook in Russia.”

The lawmaker has also called for Russia to withdraw from Eurovision, branding it the “Eurovision sodom show”.

In October, he said Apple CEO Tim Cook should be banned from Russia after he spoke publicly about being gay for the first time.

In 2013, Milanov said that gay people were not “normal” and compared being gay to living “with a dog, with a horse, with a sheep, whatever.”.