Vladimir Putin solidifies Russia’s same-sex marriage ban for generations to come

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has signed into law a constitutional amendment that formally bans same-sex marriage in Russia.

The ban on marriage equality, defining marriage as exclusive “between a man and a woman” is one of a group of constitutional reforms which were voted on by the Russian public on 1 July, 2020.

The changes, backed by nearly 78 per cent of Russians in the vote, also included giving Putin the power to run for president two more times, meaning he could potentially remain Russia’s leader until 2036.

They also give the president lifetime immunity from prosecution, placing Russian law above international norms, and specify “a belief in God” as a core value of the country, according to AP News.

On Monday (5 April), Putin officially signed the constitutional amendments into law.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Russia, so the new wording in the constitution simply makes it even harder for marriage equality to ever become a reality.

This latest attack on the LGBT+ community is no surprise in Putin’s Russia, where the queer community faces frequent violence and discrimination, and a notorious “gay propaganda” ban, prohibiting the distribution of anything viewed as vaguely pro-LGBT+, has been in place since 2013.

In the run-up to the nationwide vote on the constitutional amendments, which critics say was rigged, a pro-Kremlin propaganda group run by allies of the Russian president produced an advert featuring an orphan being adopted by two dads, who then put him in a dress and makeup.

The ad told viewers: “Decide the future of the country. Vote for the amendments to the constitution.”

At the time of the vote, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, described Putin as a “threat to the human rights of all”.

He said: “Russia is tripling down on its attacks on the basic human rights and dignity of LGBT+ people by adding constitutional prohibitions against marriage equality.

“Putin and his administration used propaganda brochures leading up to the election promising a return to ‘traditional family values’, using marriage between loving couples as a wedge to push through his nefarious agenda.

“It is shameful, manipulative and malicious.”