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Russia Bans Adoptions to Countries Where Gay Marriage Is Legal

Published: February 14, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • The government has ruled out adoption for unmarried people in countries where marriage is legal.
    Photo: E. Razumny / Vedomosti

The Russian government has banned the adoption of Russian children by unmarried citizens in countries where same-sex marriage is recognized.

A decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published on the government's website Thursday announced changes to a law on adoption enacted last July that banned the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples.

Last summer's measure came at a time when certain Western countries were debating and later passing laws recognizing same-sex marriage.

Related: American Parents Pen Adoption Plea

Russia's law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors was passed around the same time and has generated negative attention in Europe and the United States, where activists had called for boycotts of Russian vodka and the Sochi Olympics, and the new legislation is likely to further exacerbate anti-Russian attitudes among human rights activists.

An explanatory note accompanying the amendments said that the government had acted to protect adopted children "from possible unwanted influence such as artificial forcing of non-traditional sexual behavior and the suffering, complexes and stresses that, according to psychologists' studies, are often experienced by kids raised in same-sex families."

Related: Thousands March to Protest U.S. Adoption Ban

More than a dozen countries recognize gay marriages, including the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and parts of Britain.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in certain states of Mexico and the United States, as well as being recognized by the U.S. federal government.

Americans are already banned from adopting Russian children under a law that was introduced after the U.S. passed an act imposing sanctions on those accused of involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 and other human rights abuses.

Lawmakers including State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina, who supported the "gay propaganda" law and is head of the Duma's Committee for Family, Women and Children, earlier called for July's law to be expanded, arguing that children taken in by heterosexual parents could later be transferred to gay parents.

The changes to the adoption law also decrease the official time period for considering applications made by prospective parents from 15 to 10 days and eliminate the need for paperwork confirming that the sanitary conditions of the child's new home are up to standard.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in “Downton Abbey” if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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