Today reports surfaced about a proposed bill in Russian parliament that would make being gay – or presumed to be gay – a basis for denying parental custody.  The draft bill’s sponsor, Alexei Zhuravlyov of the pro-Kremlin United Russia faction, stated that if a person is gay, he or she should be stripped of parental rights.

This is yet another example of the Russian government legislating ignorance and hatred. This lawmaker is attempting to paint LGBT people as abnormal or somehow harmful to the wellbeing of children, but the real harm will come from senselessly ripping families apart.  A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and expression has nothing to do with his or her ability to be a good parent.

This new proposed bill is the latest in a string of anti-LGBT legislation to come out of Russia, including a recently-passed law outlawing “homosexual propaganda,” which outlaws disseminating information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent."  Earlier in the year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning gay and lesbian couples in foreign countries from adopting Russian children.

Of this new proposal, draft bill sponsor Alexei Zhuravlyov wrote, “Following the letter of the law that forbids propaganda of non-traditional sex to minors we must restrict such propaganda not only in mass media but also the family.  If one of the child’s parents indulges in sexual contact with persons of the same sex, the damage to the child’s psyche is immense.”

Since the passage of the propaganda law, HRC has worked to expose Russia’s government-led attack on LGBT rights.  Last week, HRC president Chad Griffin sent a letter to the heads of the top sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), calling on the corporate leaders from Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, Panasonic, Samsung, Omega, Visa, and Atos to take action in anticipation of the 2014 Olympic Games, to be held in Sochi, Russia.

For more information on HRC’s work, visit

Filed under: International

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