A senior Russian official has said the approval of gay marriage by parliaments in Britain and France will limit the chances of citizens of those countries who want to adopt Russian children.
Officials in Moscow are frequently openly homophobic.
“The British and French parliaments have legalised same-sex marriages,” said Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry’s human rights envoy. “This narrows the chances of citizens of these countries adopting Russian children.”
In December, Russia’s parliament approved a controversial law banning American parents from adopting Russian children, in retaliation against the US Magnitsky Act – a new piece of legislation preventing alleged human rights abusers from Russia from entering the United States.
Rights activists and opposition figures criticised the adoption ban, saying it denied orphans – especially those with disabilities or chronic diseases – the chance to find new families.
Moscow claimed the ban was necessary because Russian children were abused by their American adoptive parents. One frequently cited case was that of Dima Yakovlev, a Russian toddler who died in Virginia in 2008 after his adoptive father – later cleared of involuntary manslaughter – left him in a locked car for nine hours.
This week, Mr Dolgov repeated officials’ earlier criticism of Ranch for Kids, a care home in Montana for children – including Russians – who have had difficulties living with their adoptive parents. Mr Dolgov said the ranch was “an odious institution” where Americans gave up adopted children like “foreign toys of which they are bored”. The ranch has said children are well treated there.
Officials in Moscow are frequently openly homophobic and the State Duma lower house of parliament approved in first reading earlier this month a new federal law that will ban “homosexual propaganda” among minors. The law is already in force in several regions and was used for an unsuccessful prosecution of the singer Madonna after she criticised it at a concert in St Petersburg.
Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman, said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday that adoption by foreign gay couples would be against the constitution.
“This position [on gay marriages] is stated in our basic laws, the Family Code and the constitution,” he said. “They put it straight that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. We do not have anything else. Full stop.” Mr Astakhov added: “The UN Convention says a child has a right to a mother and a father. And we can’t change this model.”
SOURCE: The Telegraph