Russian lawmakers are now reportedly pursuing a bill that would allow child welfare authorities to remove children from the homes of parents with “nontraditional sexual orientation.”
In the same week that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia is not discriminating or hounding its LGBT population, lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov filed a draft bill that would make the “fact of nontraditional sexual orientation” grounds for denying custody to parents.
Zhuravlyov, who was one of the main proponents of the national homosexual propaganda ban, characterized the bill as an extension of the propaganda ban and its goal of supposedly protecting children.
“In the case when a parent has sexual contact with people of their own gender, the damage that can be inflicted on the psyche of a child is enormous,” Alexei Zhuravlyov, author of the draft, wrote in submitting it to the Russian parliament’s lower house, the Duma. He said between 5% and 7% of people across Russia were of “non-traditional” sexual orientation and at least a third of those had children.
Subsequent reports from official state outlets have indicated that Zhuravlev’s explanatory note also included that (emphasis mine): “non-traditional sexual orientation of one or both parents would become sufficient reason to deprive both of them of their parental rights.”
The amendments proposed by the draft bill will apply where “families have already collapsed because of the non-traditional contacts of one of the spouses” as well as to “families where non-traditional sex is openly practiced by one of the parents.”
Lest we fear the amendments are an overreaction, the note clarifies that should a wife have no concrete evidence but just suspect her husband of “non-traditional sex,” Russia’s Investigative Committee will “have specialists trained in everything.”
Russia Today also has a chilling note regarding where Zhuravlev has found supposed evidence for his assertions that gay parents are harmful to kids despite numerous studies that show the contrary: none other than the widely discredited anti-gay U.S. study conducted by Mark Regnerus at the university of Texas:
In the documents attached to the bill, Zhuravlev referred not to personal monitoring, but to research conducted by Mark Regnerus, an associate professor at the University of Texas in Austin. Regnerus claims that the children of people who have homosexual relations are less likely to call themselves “fully straight” than the children of heterosexual parents (60-70 percent against 90 percent).
In addition, Regnerus claims that children of homosexual parents demonstrated three times the incidences of VD (25 percent against 8 percent), five times greater suicidal tendencies (25 percent against 5 percent) and three times the level of “inability to remain faithful to partners” (40 percent against 13 percent).
We have previously detailed the wide-ranging problems regarding the Regnerus study, not least of which is that the so-called study didn’t in fact evaluate gay parents at all and that Regnerus was very liberal with how he defined homosexuality so (critics have speculated based on statements made by the study’s backers) research critical of gay parenting could be used in a number of United States Supreme Court cases, including the Proposition 8 case.
There is, however, a small amount of positive news here. Russian lawmakers are said to be quite leery of this new bill and for a number of reasons.
Chief among them appears to be the fact that Russia recognizes no other unions than heterosexual marriages and would only award parental benefits on that basis. Any other relationships such as gay parents raising children appear outside of the bounds of the state’s power to regulate — at least, if Russia is still willing to work within the bounds of its own laws.
In somewhat related news, this past week saw world leaders descend on St Petersburg in Russia for the G20 summit. A number of leaders including those from the United States and UK are said to have raised concerns regarding Russia’s anti-propaganda law.
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