MOSCOW -- The lower house of Russia's parliament gave initial approval Tuesday to ban the adoption of Russian orphans by foreign same-sex married couples or by single persons from countries where same-sex marriages are allowed.
Some lawmakers said the measure was intended as a response to a French law passed last month allowing same-sex marriage.
The latest measure would not currently apply to Americans because they are already banned from adopting Russians. Lawmakers took that step in December in response to passage by the U.S. Congress of a law denying visas and imposing financial sanctions on Russian officials involved in the case of attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2011 after shedding light on a multimillion-dollar scam.
“A child must have a mom and dad because the child gets reared and educated about the world in a family,” Sergei Zheleznyak, a deputy speaker of the lower house, or State Duma, said in a speech Tuesday promoting the measure. “If a child ends up brought up by a gay couple, the child of course is seriously traumatized and develops a distorted notion of the surrounding reality.”
Last week lawmakers in the Duma overwhelmingly passed a measure and sent it on to the upper house that would ban teaching children about homosexuality.