A US evangelist has made the claim that Obama should look to Russian President Vladimir Putin for inspiration with how to handle gay rights.

Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, made the comments in a piece for Decision magazine, noting that Putin “may be wrong about many things”, but commending his harsh handling of LGBT rights in Russia.

This claim comes the same day President Obama imposed sanctions on eleven of Putin’s “allies”, for their involvement in the Ukraine crisis, including the author and main sponsor or Russia’s anti-gay law. 

Reverend Graham said: “In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.

“Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead. This is shameful.”