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Russia halts adoptions to Sweden over gay nuptials

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09:35 CEST+02:00
Russia has stopped all adoptions to Swedish parents due to a court decision banning international adoptions to countries which afford homosexual couples equal marriage rights.

"It's terrible. We have 13 children in Russian orphanages today who have been offered to parents in Sweden who they have actually met," said Jonas Friberg at the Adoptioncentrum agency in Sweden to Sveriges Television (SVT).

Representatives of the Russian authorities and the Swedish embassy met yesterday to discuss the legal situation with regard to adoptions of Russian children. Russia is seeking to sign agreements with individual countries to ensure that Russian children do not come to LGBT parents, according to the SVT report.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that no formal negotiations have begun, but the meeting concerned an attempt to clarify what the new law means in practice.

Russian politician Vitaly Milonov meanwhile called homosexuals "perverts" in an interview with SVT broadcast on Thursday, arguing that children would be better off staying in Russian orphanages.

"The perverts? No, it is unacceptable. Homosexuals are 'perverts' and should absolutely not be allowed to adopt children," he said. "Children who grow up in that kind of environment are destroyed psychologically."

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors" on June 30th this year.

IN PICTURES: Swedish athletes' rainbow-painted nails at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow

Critics of the law have argued that its vague wording in effect outlaws any form of expression of LGBT rights, including Pride parades, holding hands or kissing in public.

The new law has furthermore cast a shadow over the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi with some international gay rights groups calling for a boycott. This call has however been rejected by some Russian LGBT activists who argue that it is counter-productive.

Swedish high-jumper Emma Green Tregarocaused a storm of controversy recently when she painted her nails in rainbow colours at the World Athletics Championships in a "silent protest" against the Russian law.

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Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva slammed the Swede, saying her actions were "disrespectful to our country".

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