Another Reason Not to Travel to Russia
Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he may change bilateral agreements with other countries regarding adoption should those countries have marriage laws that contradict Russian law, The Telegraph reports.
Putin was responding to a suggestion by the head of a regional parliament that the country should modify its adoption agreement with France because that country became the 14th nation to usher in marriage equality earlier this week.
“She is right,” Putin said, “We have to react to what is going on around us. We treat our partners with respect, but we ask that they treat with respect the cultural traditions, the ethic, legal, and moral norms of Russia.”
Of course, adoption was already a hot political topic in Russia after Putin banned adoption of Russian children by U.S. parents in December. That move was in response to President Obama’s approval of a policy that allows the U.S. to deny visas to Russian officials accused of human-rights violations.
Earlier this month, gay advocates in the Netherlands flew rainbow flags at half-mast in response to legislation pending in Russia that would make it illegal to hold gay events or to disseminate LGBT information to minors.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. State Department’s LGBT Travel Information page warns against travel to Russia, saying that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is widespread in Russia, as harassment, threats, and acts of violence have been targeted LGBT individuals.”