MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia would not legalize gay marriage while he was in the Kremlin.
He made it clear that what he called “parent number 1” and “parent number 2” would not allow the traditional concept of mother and father to be undermined.
“Regarding ‘Parent Number 1’ and ‘Parent Number 2’, I have already spoken about it publicly and I will repeat it again: As long as I am President, this will not happen. It will be father and mom,” said Putin.
During his two decades in power, Putin has been closely associated with the Orthodox Church, trying to distance Russia from liberal Western values, including attitudes to homosexuality and gender fluidity.
He made the comments when he met a state commission to discuss changes to the Russian constitution.
The commission was set up last month after Putin announced sweeping changes in Russia’s political system that are widely viewed as support for the takeover after he planned to step down in 2024.
In the meantime, further proposals were made and Putin was asked to comment on a proposal to include a line in the constitution that defines marriage as a union of men and women.
“We just have to think about what sentences and where to do it,” he replied.
In separate comments during the meeting, Putin said he supports an idea that makes it unconstitutional for Russia to surrender any part of its territory. This could irritate Japan and Ukraine, which are fighting over land with Moscow.
Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and was in a decades-long dispute with Tokyo over the ownership of an island chain in the Pacific, which Moscow conquered from Japan at the end of World War II.
Russia and Japan have had talks about the latter dispute, which has prevented countries from officially signing a peace treaty after World War II.
“We have discussions with our partners on certain issues, but I like the idea itself,” said Putin. “So let’s instruct the lawyers and ask them to phrase it correctly.”
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)