Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a slew of proposed amendments to the country’s Constitution that include a mention of God and describe marriage as a heterosexual union.
Putin first proposed amending the constitution in January’s state-of-the-nation speech, saying it is necessary to broaden the powers of parliament and bolster democracy. Foes have described the proposed changes as part of Putin’s efforts to remain in charge after his six-year term ends in 2024.
The Kremlin-controlled parliament endorsed Putin’s draft and is set to give it the final approval next week, setting the stage for a nationwide vote on April 22.
The draft includes an article that pledges homage to “ancestors who bequeathed to us their ideals and a belief in God.” Another amendment describes marriage as a “union of a man and a woman,” a wording in sync with Putin’s long-stated opposition to same-sex marriages.