Gay parents in Russia would lose custody of their children under a law proposed by a deputy from the ruling United Russia party, the Associated Press reports.
Activists had feared the so-called gay propaganda law in Russia could lead to this next step, with U.S. actor and producer Harvey Fierstein sure to mention it as among worst-case scenarios in his New York Times op-ed and during an interview on MSNBC in August. The existing law already bans any talk about homosexuality in front of minors.
Now State Duma deputy Alexei Zhuravlev is proposing that like drug use, or child abuse, "nontraditional sexual orientation" would be grounds for parents losing their children. The AP reports that Zhuravlev argues "propaganda" is wrong in public and wrong "in the family."
Fierstein had told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that this plan to remove children from their gay parents "was only rumored ... but hopefully the spotlight we are putting on now has stopped that law." But the AP reports the draft bill was posted to Parliament's website Thursday.
"Not surprisingly, some gay and lesbian families are already beginning to plan their escapes from Russia," Fierstein had written in the Times in July, based only speculation a law could be drafted.
In July, Russian president Vladimir Putin added to the country's antigay laws by signing another that bars gay people in other countries from adopting Russian children.