News / Europe

    Russian Lawmaker Wants to Take Children Away from Gay Parents

    Gay rights activists hold a banner reading 'Homophobia - the religion of bullies' during their action in protest at homophobia, on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, July 14, 2013.
    Gay rights activists hold a banner reading 'Homophobia - the religion of bullies' during their action in protest at homophobia, on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, July 14, 2013.
    Reuters
    A member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's ruling party tabled a draft law on Thursday to take children away from homosexual parents, adding to a raft of measures that rights activists say are undermining gay rights.
     
    The draft law, which follows legislation banning gay “propaganda”, would add homosexuality to a list of conditions including drug and child abuse that can lead to parents being stripped of custody over their children.
     
    The proposal highlights the more socially hardline course that Putin has charted in his third presidential term as he seeks to boost support among conservative voters.
     
    “In the case when a parent has sexual contact with people of their own gender, the damage that can be inflicted on the psyche of a child is enormous,” Alexei Zhuravlyov, the author of the draft, wrote in submitting it to the Russian parliament's lower house, or Duma.
     
    He said that between 5 and 7 percent of people across Russia were of “non-traditional” sexual orientation and that at least a third of those had children.
     
    It was not clear if Zhuravlyov's proposal had a strong chance of becoming law, but it follows other legislation signed by Putin that rights activists and Western governments said are discriminatory against homosexuals.
     
    Homosexuality was decriminalized after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but many Russians still view it as either an affliction that requires medical treatment or a crime deserving of prosecution.
     
    Putin said this week that Russia's love for composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who was homosexual, was proof that the country appreciated its gay population.
     
    But gay activists said they are being turned into scapegoats for problems including low birth rates and an HIV/AIDS epidemic that is closely tied to drug use.
     
    One new law prevents them from adopting children. Another on so-called gay “propaganda”, which bans advocating non-traditional sexual relations around children, has caused an uproar in the West and triggered calls for a boycott of Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.
     
    Putin has struck an increasingly conservative tone after protests against his 13-year rule, which have arisen mostly in Moscow and other larger cities in late 2011 and 2012, and rights activists accuse him of cracking down on dissent.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Norman C. Murphy from: Oceano, CA USA
    September 05, 2013 6:58 PM
    The Russians, under Putin, are delusional if they believe anyone chooses to be homosexual or heterosexual. There are numerous well peer reviewed scientific articles on how brain sex, genital sex, and chromosomal sex can be different than sex of assignment at birth. For a full article with footnotes and over 450 authoritative references on the subject titled: "Sexual Orientation: Science and Society" email dr.murphy@att.net. Try science and medical knowledge over ignorance or be doomed to the psychiatric problems that are created when natural sexual orientation is inhibited (i.e., depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, homophobia, low academic achievement when bullied, . . . ad infinitum.) Russia's mental health problems are on the rise now, wait until the aftermath of their ignorance.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 06, 2013 7:56 AM
    Hey, let's have some decency here! You may have carried out a lot of research on this matter, but your result is grossly misleading. No one will agree with your findings here even if you quote the most wanted scientist in the world. Reason: this issue is a new phenomenon. Some decades ago it was not as pronounced as it is today. The exceptional mention of this problem was in Sodom and Gomorrah where morality was thrown to the birds and life was as free as of the animals in the wild.

    That led to women (including pregnant ones), not wanting to be left out of the unbridled orgies of the time, overindulged in alcohol and drugs which resulted in defective formation of fetuses, some of the defects were sexual malformations that manifested in this form. Today too, we know that because of same behavioral pattern adopted by the women of USA and most of Europe, a repeat of the Sodom and Gomorrah days is most possible. However, the rapid growth of the number of homosexuals in Europe and USA calls for some form of examination - whether there is something else pushing a change of sexuality in peoples out there, especially those in the entertainment industry.

    Here extraneous forces otherwise supernatural or superhuman forces have been indicted. Your submission rather proved a part of human subconsciousness that can be manipulated to achieve these results of change of sexuality. How you people are doing it out there, and why you want the whole world to adhere to, or accept it, is the problem the world is facing with the phenomenon. What about morality? What about respect for freedom of choice, association and interaction? Homosexuals are free to express themselves, why should other people not also say what they want or do not want? These are the questions you must answer to settle this matter amicably.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora