Vladimir Putin vows that same-sex marriage will never be legal so long as he’s in power

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The anti-LGBTQ leader also hinted he may introduce a constitutional ban.

Vladimir Putin has vowed that same-sex marriage will never be legal in Russia so long as he’s in power. Having alternated between Russia’s highest offices of president and prime minister since 1999, he’s scheduled to leave office in 2024.

Reuters reports that he made the comments during a meeting with the state commission to discuss changes to Russia’s constitution. During the meeting, Putin also floated the idea of changing the constitution to forbid same-sex marriage.

“We need only to think in what phrases and where to do this,” he said in response to the possibility of a line being added defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

And on the subject of same-sex marriage, he said: “As far as ‘parent number 1’ and ‘parent number 2’ goes, I’ve already spoken publicly about this and I’ll repeat it again: as long as I’m president this will not happen. There will be dad and mum.”

Homophobia is a massive issue in Russia. In 2013, a ‘gay propaganda’ rule was signed into effect by Vladimir Putin, and it banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual orientations to minors.

Under the law, a Calvin Klein advert was banned, there were calls to ban the game FIFA 17, and the Warwick Rowers naked calendar was banned. The law has also banned a website that ran articles on LGBTQ-related health issues, including HIV/AIDS.

Police officers in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia also refused to protect LGBTQ citizens from hate speech. They claimed that online threats were “not addressed to any group of people on the grounds of ethnic, racial, religious, or social identity,” and so they did not violate any laws.

In December, a Russian girl, Ekaterina Lyskh, was hospitalised after a horrific homophobic attack from seven men. She was left with a concussion and required stitches to the side of her mouth. The beating was so severe, Ekaterina was left with no memory of the incident.

And in one of the more chilling instances, a Saw-themed website encouraged homophobes to commit violent acts against the LGBTQ community. The website was banned in July, but activists warned it could resurface.

Yelena Grigoryeva was found murdered after her details appeared on the website. Just three days before she was killed, Grigoryeva posted about the website on her Facebook page, warning that names, photos and addresses of LGBTQ people were being shared, with prizes offered to those who completed an attack.

Related: Here’s everything you need to know about Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’

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