Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed amendments that God and heterosexual marriage be enshrined in the constitution.
In January Putin unleashed a political storm by proposing an overhaul of the constitution, the first changes to the basic law since 1993 and some of the changes include amendments that mention God and stipulate that marriage is a union of a man and woman.
In less than two hours, the lower house had unanimously approved the constitutional reform bill in a first reading.
Ahead of a second and key reading set for next week, Putin has submitted 24 pages worth of new proposals, said State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
The amendments enshrine the mention of Russians’ “faith in God” and also stipulate that marriage is a heterosexual union.
Most Russians identify as Orthodox Christians but Russia is officially a secular state.
The new amendments also ban giving away Russian territory and any call promoting such a move would also be outlawed.
Putin, who has dominated Russia for 20 years, has sought to cast himself as a defender of traditional values and rally support by promoting anti-Western and conservative ideas.
The second reading of the constitutional reform bill is scheduled for March 10 and the public vote on the constitutional reforms has been set for April 22.
However, Analysts have described Putin’s move to change the constitution as beginning preparations for succession when his current Kremlin term ends in 2024 despite Russians urging him not to stay in Power.