Putin moves to ban gay marriage and add references to God in constitutional amendments - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Saturday, 28 March 2020

Putin moves to ban gay marriage and add references to God in constitutional amendments

Putin moves to ban gay marriage and add references to God in constitutional amendments

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented amendments to the Russian Constitution to define marriage as the "union of a man and a woman" and to reference "ancestors who bequeathed to us their ideals and a belief in God."

The first amendment submitted Monday reflects Putin's long-standing opposition to gay marriage. The second follows a suggestion from the Russian Orthodox Church in early February that the constitution include a mention of God.

"Most Russian citizens believe in God — and I'm not talking about just the Orthodox, but also about Muslims and many, many others," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow said at the time. "If we have 'this native land protected by God' in our national anthem, then why not in our constitution?

With joint efforts and prayers, I think we can facilitate the elevated idea of faith in God, the basis for personal, social and political morality, becoming present in our constitution as well."

Putin has enjoyed the support of the Russian Orthodox Church during his nearly 20 years in power. The Russian leader often poses for photographs with Kirill and participates in Orthodox rituals.

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This is the first time Russia has decided to amend its constitution since 1993. Putin proposed the move in January, in what was widely viewed as a ploy to maintain power after his term ends in 2024. Putin is Russia's longest-serving leader since the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The new changes will be considered in the Russian Parliament and put to a vote in a national referendum in April.

Putin's proposals came amid a series of other amendments, including measures to ensure that Russia maintains control of territories it has annexed and language referring to Russia as a successor of the Soviet Union. The amendments involving God and gay marriage are expected to drive turnout among culturally conservative Russians.

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