russian president vladimir putin has offered new assurances for gay athletes, fans and progressive folks attending the 2014 sochi winter olympics next month. yet he defended russia's anti-gay law by equating gays with pedophiles. he said russia needs to "cleanse" itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birthrate.
putin's views aired in an interview broadcast on sunday with russian and foreign television stations. a russian law passed last year banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors has caused an international outcry. he refused to answer a question from the bbc on whether he believes people are born gay or become gay.
russian law suggests information about homosexuality can somehow influence a child's orientation. the polarizing law has contributed to growing animosity towards gays in russian society. activists have reported a rise in abuse, harassment and intolerance.
global fears about how gays will be treated in sochi are being diffused by olympic organizers and russian officials who said no discrimination will take place in sochi. during the televised interview, putin reiterated their stance by stating, "there are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to sochi as guests or participants."
putin said the law was aimed at banning propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, suggesting gays are more likely to sexually abuse children. he noted with pride how russian law saw more births than deaths last year for the first time in two decades. population growth is vital for russia's development and, he said, "anything that gets in the way of that we should clean up."
the russian president, in the interview, accused the united states of double standards in its criticism of russian law. putin noted there are currently laws on the books, in some u.s. states, classifying gay sex as a crime. the u.s. supreme court, however, ruled in 2003 such laws are unconstitutional. homosexuality was a crime in the entire former soviet union, which collapsed in 1991. it was decriminalized in russia two years later.
the sochi winter olympics will be held february 7 through february 23.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.