Moscow, July 2, 2020
With all the ballots cast over the past week now counted, Russians voted overwhelmingly in favor of a number of constitutional amendments, including the traditional definition of marriage and a reference to faith in God in the preamble to the defining legal document.
In the end 77.9% of voters backed the reform package, while 21.3% voted against it. There was a 65% voter turnout according to election officials, with the highest levels of support for the reforms—more than 90%--coming from Crimea, Chechnya, and Tuva, reports the BBC.
Thus, while same-sex marriage and civil unions are already illegal in Russia, marriage is now constitutionally defined in Russia as the union of a man and woman. The amendments were earlier approved of by the State Duma in March.
The constitution now also mentions faith in God as a central factor in Russian history: “The Russian Federation, united by a thousand-year history, preserving the memory of our ancestors who passed on ideals and faith in God to us, as well as continuity in the development of the Russian state, recognizes the historically established state unity.”
Support for both amendments was voiced within the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.