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Russian President Putin links gays to pedophiles

Putin: Gay People Who 'Leave Kids Alone' Welcome At Sochi

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next month. Yet he defended Russia's anti-gay law by equating gays with pedophiles and said Russia needs to "cleanse" itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.

Putin's comments in an interview broadcast Sunday with Russian and foreign television stations showed the wide gulf between the perception of homosexuality in Russia versus the West.

A Russian law passed last year banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors has caused an international outcry.

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 that information about homosexuality can influence a child's sexual orientation.

The law has contributed to growing animosity toward gays in Russian society, with rights activists reporting a rise in harassment and abuse.

International worries 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.

"There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants," Putin declared in the TV interview.

He said the law was aimed at banning propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, suggesting that gays are more likely to abuse children.

Making another favorite argument against homosexuality, Putin noted with pride that Russia saw more births than deaths last year for the first time in two decades. Population growth is vital for Russia's development and "anything that gets in the way of that we should clean up," he said, using a word usually reserved for military operations.

Putin accused the United States of double standards in its criticism of Russia, pointing to laws that remain on the books in some U.S. states classifying gay sex as a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2003 that such laws were unconstitutional.

Homosexuality was a crime in the entire former Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. It was decriminalized in Russia in 1993.

The Sochi Winter Olympics run Feb. 7-23.

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landslowrance January 19 2014 at 3:19 PM

There must be a lot of Russian's on here.

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1 reply
holmes49 landslowrance January 19 2014 at 3:28 PM

yea--people who see a real leader when they see one--want to trade?

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goodgrief61945 January 19 2014 at 1:18 PM

Not condoning his viewpoints, beliefs, or statements, but it's his country.

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1 reply
dws51564 goodgrief61945 January 19 2014 at 1:23 PM

No, it's his peoples country. Including the gay people.

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troglodyte January 19 2014 at 5:18 PM

Intersting when a politician is not concerned about opinions! If I were a homosexual in Russia, I would keep my 'head' down!

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dbcoll1957 January 19 2014 at 3:46 PM

So everyone who says that homosexuality is a choice has evidently been attracted to someone of the same sex at one point, and made the choice to be straight... it is the only logical explanation that proves sexuality is a choice, that option had to cross your mind at one point or your argument is ridiculous. I guess I'm one of the ones that's different because I was born straight. I have many gay and lesbian friends, and I can assure you nothing they do is going to change who I am, and visa versa. Why? Because it isn't a choice!!!

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hellsmagnet January 19 2014 at 11:10 PM

ok that's it no sex for anyone .

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Alexis Elizabeth January 19 2014 at 5:03 PM

I guess if you are gay in Russia you might consider moving to America where you will be welcomed with open arms.

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1 reply
piksz Alexis Elizabeth January 19 2014 at 5:12 PM

oh yes, here you could be a drag queen prez and hold drag shows at the white house every night. the liberals would love that.

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1 reply
Dean Sutton piksz January 19 2014 at 5:22 PM

...liberals would really drool.....

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business January 19 2014 at 11:07 PM

Reads Romas - clear position - clear implications.

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whiskaz454 January 19 2014 at 4:35 PM

Funny, never had the urge to screw a kid. Or an animal while I'm at it.

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stevendy1 January 19 2014 at 12:35 PM

duh... this country (U.S.)said the exact same things a decade ago..are we gong down or are they coming up?

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2 replies
Frank stevendy1 January 19 2014 at 12:45 PM

We are going down.

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mgh406 stevendy1 January 19 2014 at 12:45 PM

Obummer is pulling us down.

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mlau777 January 20 2014 at 1:28 AM

Truth doesn’t always make you comfortable. If may very well fly in the face of all that you have been taught, lived by, and grown accustomed to, but it is still the truth. If you wish to remain honest and sincere in your actions and life you must confront and conform to it.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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