Russian President Vladimir Putin says gays should feel welcome at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, but they must “leave the children in peace”.
Mr Putin told volunteers today that gays visiting Sochi “can feel calm and at ease,” and vowed that there would be no discrimination at the games.
The Guardian reports:
Putin”We do not have a ban on non-traditional sexual relationships,” said Putin in comments reported by Russian agencies. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia. I want to underline this. Propaganda among children. These are absolutely different things – a ban on something or a ban on the propaganda of that thing.”
Putin also added that Russia was more liberal than some other countries, claiming that in certain US states homosexuality was still punishable by law.
“We are not forbidding anything and nobody is being grabbed off the street, and there is no punishment for such kinds of relations,” said Putin. “You can feel relaxed and calm [in Russia], but leave children alone please,” said Putin.