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Russian lawmaker drops anti-gay parenting bill

Russian lawmaker drops anti-gay parenting bill

A Russian lawmaker has dropped a bill which proposed to strip parental rights away from gay couples with children.

The bill, proposed by Russian politician Alexei Zhuravlyov, had not recieved sufficient public backing from politicians, and was withdrawn on Saturday.

Sophia Cherepanova, Zhuravlyov’s spokesperson, confirmed the withdrawal by saying: ‘Yes, he has indeed withdrawn it’

However, she also stated Zhuravlyov’s position on gay parenting remains unchanged, and the bill will be revised before being resubmitted to Parliament.

Chereoanova added: ‘Anyway, we are interested in passing the bill.’

Under Zhuravlyov’s proposed bill, having a ‘non-traditional sexual orientation’ was to be a basis for denying custody to gay people. This would rank homosexuality alongside alcoholism, drug use, a history of violence and insanity as reasons for denying custody.

Zhuravlyov is outspoken in his anti-gay views.

Speaking in September, he stressed his belief that homosexuals do not make fit parents, saying: ‘It occurred to me that since we have a law explicitly prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors, the Family Code should be amended in such a way that that if a husband or a wife professes a non-traditional sexual orientation, they should be deprived of their parental rights.

‘The purpose of this would be to restrict the influence of such a person on his or her own children.

‘Homosexuals must not raise children. They corrupt them. They do them much more harm than if the child were in an orphanage. I am deeply convinced of this.’

The proposed bill, which drew condemnation worldwide, cited a flawed study by US conservative Mark Regnerus which claimed homosexual parents are harmful to children.

The study was condemned by the American Sociological Association earlier in the year, which led to Regnerus distancing himself from his own work.

The proposed legislation was a follow-up to a gay propaganda bill which passed in June, making it illegal to promote ‘homosexual lifestyles’ to people under the age of 18.