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Russian Patriarch Says Gay Marriage 'Sign Of Apocalypse'

Russian Patriarch Kirill releasing white pigeons on the porch of the Annunciation Cathedral of the Kremlin in Moscow in April.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is "a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse."

Patriarch Kirill told a congregation at Kazan Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square on July 21 that such recognition "means people are choosing a path of self-destruction."

The patriarch criticized the states that have legalized same-sex marriage, saying that "some countries approve their choice in favor of sin and justify it by law."

Kirill also said he supports a ban on "homosexual propoganda" recently signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 but remains stigmatized in a country where the Orthodox Church still holds considerable influence.

Gay-rights parades are forbidden and activists have been brutally attacked.

Based on reporting by dpa, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax