Russian Orthodox TV network attacks LGBT people by offering to pay for one-way flights

ReutersAnti-gay protesters try to tear a rainbow flag during an LGBT rally in central Moscow

A Russian religious TV network affiliated to President Putin has offered to pay for one-way plane tickets for gay people out of the country.

BBC News reports that Tsargrad TV used a video posted on its social media channels to promote the idea.

'We are ready to pay for a one-way ticket to anyone who plans to emigrate in complete earnest, and can provide a medical certificate proving that they are sodomites or have other forms of perversion,' a presenter said. 'We really want you to move there [California], where you can openly submit to your sins.

Both the Orthodox Church and the Putin administration are openly hostile to gay people and LGBT activists fear increasing levels of persecution by the state, supported by the Church.

The BBC characterises the channel's founder, Konstantin Malofeev, as 'a prominent businessman who vocally supports President Vladimir Putin. He has said he views it as the equivalent of America's Fox News channel.'

The channel reportedly regularly uses offensive terminology to refer to gay people and also criticises western nations for so-called 'low morals'.

The video prompted some support from Russian viewers, but the response has been mostly negative, with many apparently blocking the channel from their social media feeds.