The sister of recently re-established Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told journalists she believes the law should protect Australian children from being told that homosexuality is “normal”.

Loree Rudd, a 62-year-old nurse who once trained to be a nun, had returned from a visit to Russia when she told News Limited she favoured Vladimir Putin’s approach to homosexuality over those of her brother and other Western leaders.

President Putin signed a law banning propaganda of “non-traditional” relationships in June. Drafts of the law had originally targeted LGBT relationships in particular. Activists and the international community remain concerned that the law is a serious blow to LGBT rights in Russia.

“It’s like he [Putin] can see the problem ahead,” Ms Rudd said.

“I think that there should be a law [in Australia] protecting children from the propaganda of homosexuality as normal. They’re trying to build their family life and structure in Russia and people in the West don’t seem to understand our family life and structures are breaking down.

“I guess the bottom line, if there’s one thing I can say that can’t be challenged, it’s that society needs to protect its children as best they can,” she said.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said Loree Rudd’s comments wouldn’t reflect badly on Kevin Rudd’s reputation. Mr Rudd reversed his former anti-equal marriage stance earlier this year, and then pledged to push for legal same-sex marriage after defeating Julia Gillard in a leadership ballot.

“You only have to be a fly on the wall at any Christmas dinner around Australia to know that not all families agree on every issue of public policy or politics,” said Mrs Plibersek.

Ms Rudd officially left the Australian Labor Party in 2011 after it endorsed same-sex marriage, which she termed “utter nonsense”.

She said at the time: “I call them the global gay Gestapo: it is the lobbying movement that is brainwashing people, particularly the young in the community that this [homosexuality] is an optional extra in life.”

She has since refused to apologise for the remark, declaring “My view [on homosexuality] I can say with complete honesty has always been the same. I even dated one once, not knowing he was homosexual.”

Last year she rejoined the Labor Party, but she now says her brother’s change of heart on same-sex marriage means she is unlikely to help with their election campaign.