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Scores of Foreign Groups Back Russia's Anti-Gay Law

More than 100 organizations from 33 countries have signed a petition to voice their support for Russia's "gay propaganda" law that came into force in late June.

"We urge respect for the Russian people's sovereignty and invite all organizations and people responsible for children's innocence and rights, traditional families and the rights of parents to speak up in support of Russia," the petition says.

"Russia protects original and widely accepted human rights from the artificially fabricated values that are aggressively planted in many modern communities," it says.

Among those who signed the petition are the World Congress of Families, the Islamic Medical Association and the European Large Families Confederation. The document was prepared by a Spanish organization, Profesionales por la Etica (Professionals for Ethics).

The petition says Russia has unjustly faced enormous pressure from advocates of "sexual minorities" and foreign leaders after the law was passed.

Alexei Komov, from the Russian Family Policy analytics center, said the petition demonstrates that a large number of people and organizations around the world support Russia in protecting children from the "aggressive immoral propaganda," Zakonia.ru reported.

"In its essence, [the law] is not different from, for example, the ban of using poisonous ingredients in food products for children," said Pavel Parfentiyev, chairman of the For Family Rights group, according to Zakonia.ru.

Widespread protests against the law were created artificially by those who oppose the family and simple family values, he said.

Russian Orthodox Church officials have called on Europe to follow Russia's example and adopt similar laws to preserve family life.

"I think that the same laws should be brought to other countries instead of those norms that have been introduced in a number of European Union countries where same-sex couples are given the right to adopt children," Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external relations, said Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.

The law makes the "propagandizing" of "nontraditional" sexual relations among minors and the dissemination of information designed to make homosexuality seem attractive illegal and punishable by a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,100) for individuals and 1 million rubles for organizations.

Russia has sustained international criticism in the recent weeks, with gay activists calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi next year and U.S. gay bars refusing to carry Russian vodka.

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