Russian Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Take Children Away from Gay Parents

Gay parents would lose custody of their children under the terms of a new bill proposed in Russia, the AP reports:

ZhuravlevThe draft bill, published on parliament’s website on Thursday, would make the “fact of nontraditional sexual orientation” a basis for denying custody. Other grounds include alcoholism, drug use, and abuse…Alexei Zhuravlev (pictured), the author of the bill, referred to the earlier law and said that homosexual “propaganda” had to be banned not only in the public space “but also in the family.”

A Russian report says that Zhuravlev's bill hopes to amend Article 69 (Termination of Parental Rights) of the Family Code with a measure that says that having gay parents can do "great harm" to a child's mind.

Said Zhuravlev: "The bill is for those whose families have broken up due to non-traditional contacts of one of the spouses, or parents who do not hide sexual relations with persons of the same sex." Zhuravlev went on to tell the paper that if a spouse suspects her husband is a practicing homosexual, "We have a court and the Investigative Committee…"

Attorneys expressed skepticism, noting that it is difficult to prove certain relationships and the bill would be used speculatively and create many fraudulent and provocative custody lawsuits.

In the documents submitted with the bill, Zhuravlev referred to the flawed, misleading, and scientifically unsound report on gay parenting conducted by UT-Austin professor Mark Regnerus and sponsored by U.S. religious right-wing groups.

Yesterday, in an interview with the AP, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the existence of anti-gay laws in Russia, and said athletes and activists would not be punished for expressing support for gay rights in Sochi.

Putin also claimed that Russia gives awards to gays:

"I assure you that I work with these people. I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields. We have absolutely normal relations, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary here. They say that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a homosexual. Truth be told, we don't love him because of that, but he was a great musician, and we all love his music. So what?"