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Bill that would deny parental rights to gay Russians pulled

Alexei Zhuravlev reportedly plans to introduce revised version of bill at later date

Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev has withdrawn a bill that would see children removed from gay parents. Credit: thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev has reportedly withdrawn a bill that calls for the removal of children from gay parents but intends to introduce a revised version of the measure in the future, Pink News reports.

Zhuravlev's bill proposed to make “nontraditional sexual orientation” a valid basis for depriving gay people of their parental rights. Other grounds for denying parental custody include alcoholism, drug use and abuse.

According to Pink News, a spokesperson for Zhuravlev issued a statement to Russian media that says the measure has been pulled from the Russian Duma. It also says that the lawmaker's views on the matter remain the same and that he plans to introduce a new version at a later but unspecified date.

Russian news site RIA Novosti reports that Zhuravlev's proposal lacked significant support.

In June, President Vladimir Putin signed off on legislation that prohibits gay couples in foreign countries from adopting Russian children, as well as a measure that bans promotion of “nontraditional sexual relations” among minors.

But despite the passage of these measures, Putin has insisted that Russia, which will host the Winter Olympics in a few months, doesn’t have “any laws pointed against persons with a nontraditional sexual orientation here in Russia.”

In a Sept 5 interview with Russian news portal slon.ru, Zhuravlev suggested that to complement the law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors, the Family Code "should be amended in such a way that if a husband or a wife professes a nontraditional sexual orientation, they should be deprived of their parental rights."

He added, “The purpose of this would be to restrict the influence of such a person on his or her own children.”

When asked by interviewer Olga Pavlikova if law enforcement agencies will get involved in determining who is gay, Zhuravlev replied, “If it becomes necessary, yes of course.”