Russian Voters Back Referendum Banning Same-Sex Marriage

Russia voted in favor of a national referendum that defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman.

The referendum consisted of hundreds of constitutional changes, including one provision that will allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036.

Over two-thirds of the Russian public voted in favor of the numerous measures and solidifying Putin’s position in leadership.

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, slammed the ban on gay marriage, calling Putin a “threat to the human rights of all.”

“Russia is tripling down on its attacks on the basic human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people by adding constitutional prohibitions against marriage equality,” David said in a statement.

“Putin and his administration used propaganda brochures leading up to the election promising a return to ‘traditional family values,’ using marriage between loving couples as a wedge to push through his nefarious agenda. It is shameful, manipulative and malicious,” he added.

A 2014 Human Rights Watch report found that Russia experienced a jump in anti-LGBTQ violence after Russia passed a law in 2013 criminalizing giving materials that promote same-sex relationships to minors.

Pride events were banned in 2018. And last year, Moscow took steps to block LGBTQ groups from registering in the country officially, according to NBC News.