İrem UZUN -TDO- Russian President Vladimir Putin wants marriage to be defined as the union of a man and woman in a revised constitution, ruling out gay marriage. It is among several constitutional amendments proposed by Putin, which are set to be put to a public vote. The package includes a proclamation of Russians' faith in God and a ban on giving away any Russian territory. 

The measure was reportedly part of a 24-page document submitted by the president that would also name Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union; explicitly mention Russians’ “faith in God”; and ensure the “defence of historical truth” regarding the Soviet role in the Second World War. The amendments would also proscribe the cession of Russian territory to foreign powers, deepening the conflict over the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. The draft submissions have not yet been made public but were described to journalists in a series of briefings by high-ranking members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Last month, lawmakers unanimously approved in its first reading the sweeping constitutional reform bill put forward by Putin, just three days after the amendments were presented to the State Duma. Once approved in second and third readings in the Duma, the bill will go to the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, before being signed into law by Putin. The bill is almost certain to pass in parliament, which is dominated by Kremlin-loyal lawmakers. With the constitutional reform, observers say that the Russian leader may be laying the groundwork to hold on to power after his current term expires in 2024.

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