Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree yesterday doubling down on Russia's gay adoption ban, which lawmakers passed last July. The original ban forbids all foreign same-sex couples from adopting Russian children, and this latest decree restates that ban and additionally prohibits adoptions by single individuals living in marriage equality countries.
According to a report from RT, Russian authorities say the ban is necessary to protect children from the harm that comes from having same-sex parents -- a claim that has no basis in scientific fact and echoes the discredited "research" of disgraced sociologist Mark Regnerus:
The explanatory note reads that by introducing the new ban the Russian authorities seek "to guarantee a full and harmonious development for adopted children and to safeguard their psyche and consciousness from possible unwanted influence such as artificial forcing of non-traditional sexual behavior and the suffering, complexes and stresses that, according to psychologists' studies, are often experienced by kids raised in same-sex families."
The Wall Street Journal notes that the decree does not affect Americans, who are already forbidden from adopting Russian children:
[The] decree does don't affect American citizens because Russia already banned all Americans--regardless of their sexuality or marital status--from adopting Russian children in late 2012. It affects people in countries that are still allowed to adopt Russian children where gay marriage has been legalized.
Meanwhile, some 600,000 Russian children languish in orphanages, waiting to be adopted.
Medvedev's move, coming smack dab in the middle of the wildly controversial Sochi Winter Olympics, may be intended a thumb in the eye of the West, which has harshly criticized Russia's draconian crackdown on LGBT human rights. But it's likely to enjoy broad support at home: nearly three-quarters of Russians view homosexuality as morally unacceptable, and a whopping 88% support the country's ban on so-called "gay propaganda."
Image of a Russian orphanage via TheClause.org.