Vitaly Milonov, city councillor and author of St Petersburg’s homophobic censorship law, has referred to homosexuality as a “bad habit” that can be treated by fasting and prayer.
RT reports during an interview on Russia’s Ekho Moskvy radio show, Mr Milonov, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said:
“God can send many temptations upon us. But the thing is, this illness is easily treated by fasting and praying.
“I do not know of a single case within the Russian Orthodox Church that a man would not be cured by his sincere repentance in this sin.
He added: “People get rid of it, just like they get rid of kleptomania or, for instance, fornicators.”
Earlier this summer, a group of anti-gay Russian activists announced plans to sue Madonna for $10 million (£ 6.15 million) after they accused the pop star of insulting their feelings when she spoke out in favour of LGBT equality during a concert in the city on August 9.
Mr Milonov also said in March that he would support attempts to prosecute the singer if she went ahead with her demonstration.