The Russian lawmaker who recently introduced new anti-gay legislation to deprive couples in a “non-traditional” relationship of parental rights, has spoken out during an interview to say gay people should not be allowed to raise children.

Alexei Zhuravlyov last week proposed a bill which would deny gay parents custody over their own children. If passed it would make “non traditional sexual orientation” a basis for the deprivation of parental rights. It places same-sex sexual orientation in the same category as alcohol and drug abuse.

When asked why he chose to introduce the legislation during an interview with Slon, Zhuravlyov said he had  travelled around Russia, including his home city of Voronezh, and noted the case of a man “with a great deal of influence”, who was given custody of his children after he came out as gay.

“It occurred to me that since we have a law explicitly prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors, the Family Code should be amended in such a way that that if a husband or a wife professes a non-traditional sexual orientation, they should be deprived of their parental rights. The purpose of this would be to restrict the influence of such a person on his or her own children.”

When asked how it is possible to prove that someone is gay, he conceded that it is difficult if they do not admit it.

He continued: “The law will only function if information about the sexual orientation of the parent enters the public domain. And that’s fine. If a person conceals his orientation and hangs around in cellars, then those are his problems, he should remain alone with that sin. It has little effect on society.”

He was later asked whether the law was meant to only target those who stand up for LGBT rights, to which he said “we are not going to hunt for these people”.

Continuing, he said: “We simply aim to position the law so that it is on the side of the child, because children should not be exposed to propaganda by parents profess it. And as for identifying such people, we have schools in which children study, there are various groups and clubs, so sooner or later it will become obvious anyway.”

Asked if children would be approached to give information on their parents, if suspected of being gay, he said that would not be the case.

Comparing being gay to being a thief, when asked about the “telltale signs” of homosexuality, he said: “The clear signs are simple. Don’t you understand? Talk to a sex therapist, he will explain things to you. It’s not for me to explain to you, I’m not a doctor. There are ways to unmask a thief. I am not an expert on such matters.”

When asked about the possibly increasing number of children in Russian orphanages as a result of the law, he refused to answer, simply saying he wanted to “raise a healthy generation”.

Later in the interview the lawmaker said the proposed law would simply deprive the gay parent of custody of their child, if they came out as gay. He said it was unlikely that there would be many cases where both parents come out as gay. He confirmed that a single mother coming out as gay would have her child taken away from her, under this law.

Challenged on whether Russia should leave the EU as more laws limiting the freedom of LGBT people are being introduced, he said: “We view Europe as Sodom and Gomorrah. Europe must not tell us how to live. The Europeans can live any way they like, but they mustn’t tell us what to do. If negotiations about a visa-free space mean that our streets should have gay parades marching around, I am categorically against international relations of that kind and shall speak out against them.”

He concluded saying he was sure he would find support in the Duma for his bill.