Russia on Wednesday said it had opened an unprecedented criminal case accusing officials of negligence for allowing a gay couple to adopt two children.
The Investigative Committee, which probes serious cases, said that Moscow social workers were suspected of criminal negligence for allowing the two boys to live in the family since 2010.
This is the first such case ever launched, reported Interfax news agency.
“Nothing like this has happened before,” said lawyer Maksim Olenichev of Vykhod (Coming Out) support group based in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg.
He told AFP he was in talks with the family to represent them legally because “we think we need to defend this family from the actions of the state.”
The charge could see the officials fined or sentenced to community service.
The case so far does not affect the family directly but if the officials are found guilty, “it could give the state the opportunity to demand the annulment of the adoption,” Olenichev said.
“We think this is unacceptable as the family is established,” he said, specifying that the boys are now teenagers.
Russia has banned adoption by foreigners from countries where gay marriage is allowed, but since legalized unions are not possible in Russia, there is no law banning adoption by a gay couple.
However the Investigative Committee accused the gay man who adopted the children of “propagandizing non-traditional values” to minors, which is illegal under a controversial law that has been used as grounds to cancel public gay pride events.
“This is the next twist in that law,” said Olenichev.
A statement by investigators accuses the gay couple of causing the children to form “distorted ideas about family values, harming their health and moral and spiritual growth.”
Lawyer Olenichev said however that a “psychiatrist told us the children are developing absolutely normally.”
The law banning gay “propaganda” was passed in 2013, while President Vladimir Putin in the same year signed into law a ban on gay and lesbian couples from foreign countries adopting Russian children.
It also banned adoption by unmarried individuals who live in countries with laws permitting same-sex marriages.
Trump is ‘having a full-blown mental breakdown’ and needs to resign: Ex-Trump staffer
Leading Republican elected officials should work with President Donald Trump's family to negotiate him resigning from office, a former top White House official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.
Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci blasted his former boss during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily."
"He has totally and completely lost it. There is nobody that can look at the situation, read the tweets, look at the press sprays, and say he hasn’t lost it," Scaramucci argued.
"What does that mean, lost it?" Todd asked. "Define that."
Obama’s chief economist warns of ‘a very high chance’ Trump’s trade war could cause 2020 recession
The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama warned of "a very high chance" of Trump's trade war with China resulting in a recession -- "just in time for 2020."
Austan Goolsbee was interviewed by MSNBC's John Heilemann on Friday after the DJIA closed down over 600 points after the trade war escalated on Friday.
"Just give us, if you would, Austan, your sense of what has unfolded today and how bad it is," Heilemann asked.
"Yes, it’s terrible, I'm phoning from a bunker as we speak," Goolsbee replied.
"There hasn’t been a day like this in a very long time. Yes, the markets sell a lot but the fact we’re going to have an escalating trade war, the president of the United States is publicly declaring the head of the Fed an enemy of the state and, oh, by the way, 40% of the Amazon is on fire and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being treated for pancreatic cancer," he continued. "If this is on a Friday, it makes it bad for Monday."
Trump responds to China raising tariffs — by raising tariffs on over half a trillion dollars in Chinese goods
After US markets tanked on Friday, President Donald Trump dramatically escalated his trade war with China.
"For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on trade, intellectual property theft, and much more. Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China, with no end in sight," Trump tweeted.
"Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of fair and balanced trade that it has become a great burden to the American taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen," he argued.