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Draft bill could see Russian parents lose custody of a child - because they're gay

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By Euronews
Draft bill could see Russian parents lose custody of a child - because they're gay

<p>Gay parents in Russia could lose custody over their children if a draft bill is approved, it has emerged.</p> <p>The bill would make the “fact of non-traditional sexual orientation” a basis for denying custody, Associated Press report.</p> <p>It is the latest controversy to engulf gay rights in Russia and comes in the wake of a bill <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2013/06/14/russia-bans-gay-propaganda/">banning homosexual ‘propaganda’ to youngsters</a>.</p> <p>Russian MP Aleksey Zhuravlev, proposing the draft bill, wrote: “Following the letter of the law that forbids propaganda of non-traditional sex to minors we must restrict such propaganda not only in mass media but also the family. </p> <p>“If one of the child’s parents indulges in sexual contact with persons of the same sex, the damage to the child’s psyche is immense, as a mother or father serves as an example for their offspring.”</p> <p>At the moment Russian law lists alcohol and drug addiction, premeditated crime against a child’s life as examples of when there would be sufficient grounds to deprive someone of parental rights.</p> <p>Nikolay Alekseyev, a prominent gay rights activist in Russia, told the Interfax news agency: “The president has said that the rights of people of homosexual orientation are not infringed in our country. Such initiatives create unwanted tensions between Russia and the West.”</p> <p>The latest controversy comes after Mikhail Diegtiariov, a mayoral candidate in Moscow, <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/27/russian-mayoral-candidate-wants-to-ban-gay-blood-and-offer-conversion-therapy-/">proposed amending an existing law to ban homosexuals from donating blood</a>.</p> <p>The clampdown on gay rights <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2013/09/04/protests-against-russia-s-anti-gay-laws-in-33-cities">prompted protests this week in more than 33 cities</a> ahead of the <a href="http://www.euronews.lan/2013/09/05/fallout-between-us-and-russia-overshadows-start-of-g20/">G20 summit in St Petersburg</a>.</p> <p>Despite the controversy Russia is not considered one of <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/16/winter-olympics-brings-russian-gay-rights-into-focus---but-attitudes-are-worse-e/">the most hostile countries for homosexuals</a>.</p>