Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on July 3 banning the adoption of children by same-sex couples, as part of an increasingly conservative agenda the Kremlin is pursuing since his return to power, the Reuters website reports today (July 4, 2013).
Earlier this week, Putin signed another law banning gay "propaganda," which human rights groups say has increased hate crimes against homosexuals.
Putin -- who has embraced the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral authority and harnessed its influence as a source of political support -- has championed socially conservative values since starting a new six-year term in May 2012.
The latest law aims to protect children from "dictated non-traditional sexual behavior" and rid them of "distresses of soul and stresses, which according to psychologists' research, are often experienced by children raised by same-sex parents," according to a fact sheet on the Kremlin's website. Putin, 60, denies there is discrimination in Russia against gays.