Russia President Putin backs gay adoption ban

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he would give his backing to a proposed ban on the adoption of Russian children by foreign gay couples but denied there was discrimination against homosexuals in his country.

"If such a law is passed by the parliament of the country, I will sign it," Mr Putin said at a press conference at a European Union-Russia summit in Yekaterinburg.

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on Saturday that amendments would be drawn up stating that only heterosexual foreign couples can adopt Russian children, and that gay marriage was outside Russian traditions.

Mr Putin insisted that Russian laws did not discriminate against gay people, although he said he had not seen the draft legislation on the adoptions.

"I think our legislation is very liberal in this way, and there is no discrimination, none at all," he said.

"People of any preferences work and have careers and we recognise them at a state level in the areas where they work. I consider there are no problems here."

He said that both gays and heterosexuals should be more tolerant towards each other.

"If there is less aggression and blowing up of these problems, it will be better for everyone."

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