The Russian children’s rights ombudsman has said that allowing French gay couples to adopt Russian orphans would be “unconstitutional”.

Ruling out the possibility of French gay couples adopting Russian orphans, if France were to legalise equal marriage, Pavel Astakhov, the children’s rights ombudsman said it went against the Russian Family Code and constitution.

He said: “The official position on gay marriages is stated in Russian official documents, the Family Code and the constitution. They put it straight that the marriage is a union of a man and a woman. We do not have anything else. Period.”

He also mentioned that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that a child is entitled to a mother and a father, and said that should not change.

Mr Astakhov went on to suggest that the French were upset by moves by Francois Hollande’s government to legalise marriage equality.

He quoted his French friends who he said were upset by the fact that the French Eduction Ministry had begun to include descriptions of gay families in textbooks, reports RT. He claimed that people opposed to the equal marriage bill called for similar bills to that which recently passed its first reading in Russia, banning “gay propaganda”.

The Russian State Duma recently adopted the first reading of a homophobic censorship bill which would impose federal sanctions for the promotion of “gay propaganda”.

France ranks fourth behind the US, Italy and Spain, for highest number of orphans adopted from Russia.

The French-Russian agreement on adoptions was based on the UN Children’s Rights Convention, 1989, and the Hague Convention of International Adoptions, 1993.

Last week, a group of experts from the United Nations urged the country to drop the draft law and said that it would undermine the human rights of LGBT people in the country.

On Saturday, the French National Assembly, the lower house of France’s Parliament, voted in favour of making same-sex marriage legal.

Starting late in 2012, there have been several large-scale demonstrations both for and against equal marriage.

Last Sunday, as many as a quarter of a million people gathered in the French cities of Paris and Lyon to support plans to introduce same-sex marriage equality.

The previous week, a ‘March for All’ attracted an estimated 340,000 to 800,000 people to the Champs-de-Mars to oppose marriage equality. The organisers were handed a €100,000 bill to clean up the area by the city’s gay mayor.

In November, thousands of pro-equality demonstrators turned up to rally at the National Assembly in Paris, to show support for equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.