Putin: Russia Must ‘Cleanse’ Itself of Gays, but They Shouldn’t Fear Sochi
I am very reassured by this.
Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s anti-gay law Sunday, linking homosexuality with pedophilia and stating Russia needs to “cleanse” itself of gays if it wants to increase its birth rate.
Putin’s comments in an interview broadcast Sunday with Russian and foreign television stations displayed the wide gulf between Putin’s views on homosexuality and that of many in the west ahead a Winter Olympic Games in Sochi that could be overshadowed by the debate.
A Russian law passed last year banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors has caused an international outcry and led to calls to boycott the games, due to take place in February.
Putin refused to answer a question from the BBC on whether he believes that people are born gay or become gay. The Russian law, however, suggests information about homosexuality can influence a child’s sexual orientation.
The legislation has been blamed for contributing to growing animosity toward gays in Russian society, with rights activists reporting a rise in harassment and abuse.
International concern about how gays will be treated in Sochi have been met with assurances from Russian officials and Olympics organizers that there will be no discrimination in Sochi, and Putin reiterated that stance Sunday.
“There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants,” Putin said in the TV interview.