An anti-gay Russian politician has hit back at a lesbian couple who took a selfie with him in the background to say that in response he might close down a gay club as a “joke”.

The photo featured the two women kissing on a plane with Senator Vitaly Milonov hiding himself behind a tablet in the background, and went viral. Senator Milonov is a notoriously anti-gay politician who has organised “raids” on LGBT events.

Milonov has now lashed out at the couple, saying: “I am tolerant towards all sexual minorities.”

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The photo went viral on social media

Continuing, he asserted: “This shows that these people are not of a normal sexual orientation, but that their sexual deviance shows in all aspects of their lives. I didn’t understand what they are doing but they have a nice sense of humor. I also have a good sense of humor. I will perhaps continue this joke by closing their gay club in St. Petersburg, or ban them from having meetings in public places, that’s also a funny step.”

Milonov is currently working on legislation that would ban marriages in Russia between transgender couples. It comes after two people were able to get married in wedding dresses in St. Petersburg last year because one of them, according to passport information, is a man.

At the time, Milonov told CNN that he was working to get the marriage annulled and that the people who allowed it to take place were “psychologically sick.”

He suggested that Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova should be committed to a “mental asylum” and that gay people who want to get married “should go to the United States.”

Sentator Milonov is currently bringing forward legislation that would close a ‘loophole’ in the country’s laws which allowed a lesbian couple to marry.

In 2013, Milanov said that gay people were not “normal” and compared being gay to living “with a dog, with a horse, with a sheep, whatever.”.