"In Russia for many centuries the ass was used for educational purposes and not for love entertainment. So we should use it according to its intended purpose," says a Russian lawmaker who argues that homosexuals should be flogged in public.

Alexander Mikhailov from Siberia's Zabaikalsk region has called for a law which will allow homosexuals to be flogged with a leather whip by troops.

"I want to call on people to get a healthy perspective of this disgrace. Our district needs a law that would give troops the right to grab gays on the street and drag them to the city square, where Cossacks would whip them," said Mikhailov, Deputy of the Trans-Baikal provincial assembly, according to local website Chita.ru.

His remarks have come in the wake of Russia mulling serious measures targeting homosexuals. Legislation was also passed earlier in the week by Moscow prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among teenagers, angering pro-LGBT campaigners.

Mikhailov added: "I would like to call upon all fair-minded people to look at this sham. We have to deal with such things. There should be a law where paratroopers will [be] given the right to catch gays in the streets and drag them to town squares where Cossacks would lash their asses with whips."

Mikhailov's comments have triggered a furious response from gay rights activists.

"There is a real competition now in Russia in stupidity and absurdity. Alexander Mikhailov is Deputy of the Fair Russia party in the Baikal Lake province and no one has ever heard of him, but now he will spark a worldwide discussion," LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev told Gay Star News.

The anti-gay remarks have been widely criticised in cyberspace, and Mikhailov's colleagues have criticised his remarks on the matter.