MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Saturday Russia may change its adoption agreement with France in response to the country’s new gay marriage law.
Earlier on Saturday French President Francois Hollande signed into law a controversial bill allowing same-sex marriage. The bill has sparked mass protests throughout the nation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said late last month Russia could change its adoption agreements with the countries which allowed gay marriage that goes against “traditional Russian values.”
The Russian law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
“France has other variants now. It turns out, that the countries [Russia and France] have a different legal framework. It is obvious, that a new mechanism should be devised to resolve this issue,” Astakhov told the Echo Moskvy radio station.
Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has been requested to come up with amendments to the law by July 1, Astakhov said.
Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Russia in 1993, and anti-gay sentiment remains strong in society, including among Russia's political establishment.
The Russian authorities have never sanctioned a gay pride rally, though LGBT activists have been applying for permits in Moscow since 2006. In 2012, Moscow’s highest court upheld a municipal government ban on gay pride parades for the next 100 years.
A ban on spreading “gay propaganda” among minors, currently under review in the Russian legislature, envisages fines of 4,000 to 500,000 rubles ($130 to $16,500) for individuals and organizations promoting among minors of the benefits of same-sex relations. Local legislatures in several Russian regions, including St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, have already passed a similar law.
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Sevastopol became Russia’s main naval base on the Black Sea, a role it was to play for many years. A total of 25,000 servicemen, not including civilian staff, are employed at the Black fleet’s facilities. When the families of these servicemen are taken into account, this figure grows to more than 100,000 people.