A letter sent by the mothers of gay children to St Petersburg lawmakers asking them to reconsider their ‘gay propaganda’ law has been dismissed as a fake by a senior official who reportedly said “no one cares about offending the gay community”.

Russian news site RT.com reports an English-language version of the letter and comments from the deputy of the city’s legislative assembly that he did not believe the authors and that the legislature was trying to protect children.

The letter says: “We can understand your intolerance to LGBT people – we have experienced it ourselves some time ago. But the confessions of our children helped us look at the situation from another point of view.

“Being homosexual is not easy. Coming out is difficult and painful, especially because these young people are alone. When they realize their nature, they are often under-aged. Many of them end up on the verge of suicide, because there is no one they can talk to about their feelings.

“Children must be enlightened, not scared. Homophobia is laughable in the 21st century. Russia’s task is to destroy homophobia and help children and their parents who face this situation.”

But Vitaly Milonov, deputy of St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly, told RT: “There have been several of these letters.

“I suppose all of them were written by the same person. And I don’t think these were mothers. And I do not even think this to be a good example for real mothers – those who face this, I can even say, tragedy.

“The author of these letters says that we are offending the gay community. I do not care about offending the gay community. No one cares; they present no danger to the society. We just try to protect kids from gay lifestyle propaganda.”

“As the law goes, such actions imply that “spreading information that can damage the health and moral development of underage children, and make them believe that both traditional and gay relationships are normal.”

The European Parliament adopted a resolution this week on the upcoming presidential election in Russia which denounces such regional laws banning ‘gay propaganda’ around minors.

St Petersburg would join three other cities in Russia with a law that makes it an offence to promote “sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgender” to children, which it is feared would silence the public voice of LGBT communities.