This is a huge blow for LGBTQ+ rights around the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has now banned same-sex marriage and transgender adoptions.

He officially changed the country’s constitution earlier this week.

The move came after a sh0cking national referendum back in July 2020.

The results of this showed that 77% of people in Russia voted in favour of the ban.

Putin’s new amendments to the constitutions now mean that same-sex couples will not be able to legally get married in Russia.
The constitution now says that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. The decision by Putin also means that transgender members of the community will not be able to adopt.

These amendments come from ‘a belief in God’ within the country. It’s reported that many LGBTQ+ people remain hidden for their safety and don’t feel that they can be open about their sexuality.

History

In Russia, homosexuality was first decriminalised back in 1917.

In 1933 it was re-criminalised, and then in 1993 it was legalised once more.

Despite now being legal, there is still a big issue of homophobia there.

Back in 2012, the Moscow city government ordered that gay pride parades be banned for the next 100 years.

In 2013, parliament unanimously passed a law forbidding “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” among minors.

In 2017, there were many reports of extrajudicial arrests, torture and killings of gay men in the republic of Chechnya. The reports drew international condemnation.

According to Associated Press, in 2020 a gay couple had to flee Russia after a doctor reported them to police for adopting a child together.

Authorities opened a criminal case following the report. One of the men, Andrei Vaganov had applied to adopt as a single father.

Politicians

Pyotr Tolstoy is a politician who supports the new changes to the constitution.

He has described Russia as being ‘a stronghold of traditionalism,’

He also told the Associated Press that Russia would not ‘repeat the mistakes that exist in the West’.

Tolstoy said: ‘These mistakes, in my opinion, are fundamental, when certain people — the LGBT community or certain race groups — are being given additional, special rights. More rights than the majority.’

He added: “In our country, people are tolerant to all communities, as long they don’t demand any special rights.”

Putin

It wasn’t just the LGBTQ+ legislation that Putin changed. He has also amended his own term limits. The changes mean he can now serve an additional two six-year terms. He was currently due to end his term in 2024.

Putin said that in some countries, “criminal law provisions still exist under which people of nontraditional sexual orientation can be persecuted criminally, as it was in the Soviet Union. We don’t have anything similar to that.”

What do you think should be done?
Image via Alamy