05/09/2013 11:59 BST | Updated 05/09/2013 12:09 BST

Russian Lawmaker Proposes Bill To Deny Homosexual Parents Custody Of Their Own Children

The Russian parliament could introduce a bill that makes it illegal for gay parents to retain custody of their own children.

Reported by the Associated Press, Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev has proposed legislation that would make relationships of a "non-traditional sexual orientation" subject to a denial of custody, similar to parents who suffer from alcoholism and drug dependency, or parents who abuse their children.

Referring to the passing of the now-infamous anti-gay propaganda law in June, Zhuravlev said that homosexual "propaganda" had been banned from the public space and it was now time to remove it from "the family".

gay rights russia

Gay rights activists march through St Petersburg in May

This latest assault on human rights in Russia follows enactment of the controversial anti-gay bill that made it illegal to disseminate "homosexual propaganda" to minors.

The Kremlin has maintained that the "propaganda" bill is designed to protect children however it has been used by the regime to block gay marches and protests, while allowing police to arrest members of the LGBT community on a whim.

Since the legislation was signed, Russia has witnessed a huge upsurge in violence against homosexuals, with weekly attacks often filmed and uploaded to YouTube.

On Friday President Obama it to meet with representatives of several LGBT campaign groups in St Petersburg ahead of the G20 meting, as well as advocates of human rights, the environment and those striving for a free press. British calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi over Russia’s discrimination of the LGBT community were rejected by David Cameron.

Russia’s increasing censure of the gay community has proved a populist move for Putin; Russia is a religiously conservative country dominated by the Orthodox Church and the anti-gay bill has been well-received by the older generation to whom Putin now looks for support.

Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess master and a fierce critic of Putin, told the HuffPost that conditions are getting worse for gay people and other minorities in Russia. "I think it's a natural progression," he said. "Every dictator has to add more to the equation by demonstrating his brutality and his willingness to go as far as necessary."