Russian President Vladimir Putin had a message for homosexuals who plan to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi:
"We are not forbidding anything and nobody is being grabbed off the street, and there is no punishment for such kinds of relations. You can feel relaxed and calm [in Russia], but leave children alone please.”
Putin is in Sochi prepping for the Games which will begin in just three weeks. Ironically, the volunteers working to prepare for the Olympics were issued rainbow-colored uniforms.
"We do not have a ban on non-traditional sexual relationships," Putin said.
"We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia. 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."
Russia passed a law last year prohibiting the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual practices” among minors.
During his remarks, Putin asserted that some countries were discussing the legalization of pedophilia. He wouldn’t name names and simply told people to look on the web.
“There is nothing secret about it, look it up on the Internet and you’ll find it straightaway,” he said. “Parties have raised the issue with certain parliaments. So what, are we supposed to shuffle behind them like obedient dogs toward unknown consequences? We have our own traditions, our own culture, we treat all our partners with respect and ask for our traditions and our culture to be treated with respect as well.”
President Obama will not be attending the Games and is instead sending a delegation that includes openly gay Billie Jean King.
[The Guardian] [The Washington Post]