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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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bobsansculotte January 19 2014 at 8:37 PM

From everything i have read about the comments of Putin in the last two to three weeks I believe he is in a tremendous amount of economic trouble in Russia. And it will all come out, and apart, for him within the next six months. He is in an economic hole, ------ Ukraine bale out, economic costs of terrorists in Suchi, and the political consequences of letting his opponents out of prison, et al. I do not think the western world and even he knows what is going to take place in Russia. "We got trouble, right here in River City........"

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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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business January 19 2014 at 11:07 PM

Reads Romas - clear position - clear implications.

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BROCKSTARGRP January 19 2014 at 4:57 PM

Putin is a man's man!

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1 reply
seattlewkr BROCKSTARGRP January 19 2014 at 5:04 PM

Yeah, Putin's "the bottom" in the pair.

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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.

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scubaeqhp January 19 2014 at 7:21 PM

Funny the writer editorializes by calling the comments, "chilling". Chilling to who and why isn't this on the opinion page?

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3 replies
fernandezarthr January 19 2014 at 5:30 PM

.......and No body is interested if you like to "sleep" with your dog.....What you like is what you like......and not every body likes what you like.......so stop shoving the subject down peoples throat......I don't think people care or want to know much about other peoples sexual preferences.......I don't....

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jlabbott January 19 2014 at 1:50 PM

who cares most about america? democracts or republicans. are their more more muslins in the democract party or the republician party.how will U.S.A. survive all the problems and debt that we have. i would like for a senator to answer my question

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1 reply
ratieroo jlabbott January 19 2014 at 1:53 PM

Senator Ted here.........Mary Jo and the Kar were Gone......

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Robert January 19 2014 at 5:32 PM

Sounds like he's serious. If I was going to the Olympics to compete, I would want to win and get out of there...no extra-curricular agenda included.
This can't possibly end well-

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sweetcheecbaby January 20 2014 at 12:32 AM

What the U.S. should do is not attend the games and pull out this man has said so many bad things of not only the U.S. but also about the gay people . A few years back when I think it was columbia or another college invited him to speck. He was very critical of the US and how in his home there were no homosexuality in Russia cause he would have them killed. Therefore we should not even bother in partiscipating in the games there .

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1 reply
johnria sweetcheecbaby January 20 2014 at 12:44 AM

Why not? Are you implying that all the athletes we are sending there need to fear for their lives. The best thing we can do is go there and come home with medals. Any color. The Olympics is not a political arena in spite that some people like to make it one. It is a sporting event and it is not just Russia and the USA that are participating. So because you don't like Putin and his ignorance we should all stay home? Reminds me of the Olympics were President Carter did not allow American athletes to participate because the Russians had invaded Afghanistan. OH, THE IRONY.

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