Category: Media & Culture / June 21, 2013 3:03 PM EDT
Russian lawmakers passed a bill barring same-sex foreign couples from adopting Russian children on Friday (June 21), heeding strong signals of support from President Vladimir Putin and broadening a rift with Western nations over gay rights.
The State Duma, or lower parliament house, approved the bill in its third and final reading, sending it to the upper chamber, which is expected to approve it. Both houses are dominated by United Russia party, which is loyal to Putin.
Putin, in power since 2000, has championed socially conservative values and held out Russian Orthodox Church as a moral compass since he weathered a wave of protests by mostly liberal urbanites and started a third Kremlin term last year.
The bill could be a concession to the conservative part of society ahead of Russia's regional elections in September.
Putin has shrugged off U.S. and European criticism of a ban on spreading gay "propaganda" among minors that the Duma passed this month, which gay rights activists fear has fuelled attacks on homosexuals.
Video Credit: Reuters