MOSCOW, July 9 (UPI) -- Homosexuals in Russia should be re-educated because they pose a threat to the country's long-term evolution, a regional lawmaker said Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a measure into law late June banning the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relationships."
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said at least two men were killed during gay rallies in the southern city of Volograd recently. Gay advocates were attacked in recent months during rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Siberian lawmaker Alexander Mikhailov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying homosexuality is a state concern.
"We have to re-educate or treat them," he said. "Homosexuality is a dead-end in Russia's evolution."
Putin's human rights policies have been the subject of widespread criticism. He signed legislation last year targeting civic organizations like Human Rights Watch if they receive financial support from abroad.
The Russian news agency reports Putin has insisted homosexuals have the same rights as others in Russia. Mikhailov stressed homosexual behavior posed a particular "problem" on the Internet.
A Russian court said Tuesday website owners need to delete defamatory material if ordered to do so by judicial authorities.