The Russian State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, could move to approve an amendment which would ban the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, by early July.

Yelena Mizulina, a member of the A Just Russia party, who heads the Duma’s committee on Family, Women and Children, said it had discussed an amendment on Tuesday of this week, and could be voted on before summer recess begins on 6 July.

The amendment would ban the adoption of Russian children by foreign citizens, people without citizenship and Russian nationals permanently living abroad, if they are in a same-sex marriage.

“In addition, the ban will also be applicable to single foreigners from countries where same-sex marriages are permitted by the law, as well as stateless persons and Russians who permanently reside in these countries,” Mizulina told RIA Novosti.

She said that the amendment would be considered as part of a second reading into a Government-proposed bill dealing with issues of orphans.

The second reading is due in the next two weeks, and the third is expected to take place in early July.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that he will back a ban on foreign same-sex couples from adopting Russian children, but denied it amounts to homophobic discrimination.

“If such a law is passed by the Parliament of the country, I will sign it,” President Putin said at a press conference at a European Union-Russia summit in Yekaterinburg on Tuesday.

“I think our legislation is very liberal in this way, and there is no discrimination, none at all,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on Saturday that laws would be drawn up stating that only heterosexual foreign couples can adopt Russian children, and that marriage rights for same-sex couples was outside of Russia’s heritage.

Last week, the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, said it is only “logical” to halt adoptions of Russian children by French couples due to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in France.

In the light of France having passed a bill to legalise equal marriage on 18 May, President Putin said he was happy to consider changing agreements to block gay couples from adopting Russian orphans.

In March, President Putin ordered his government to look at introducing measures to ban foreign gay couples from adopting Russian children.