Vladimir Putin: Russia doesn’t have a problem with gays
Vladimir Putin is claiming that the West has invented Russia’s record of homophobia.
The Russian President made the claims in a meeting with rights leaders, according to Russian state-controlled news agency TASS.
He said: “Russia recognizes and does not infringe on the rights of non-traditional sexual orientation.”
Putin also claimed that the country’s record of homophobia is not reality – and is a “label attached by other countries.”
He continued: “It is a label attached to the Russian Federation by other countries, especially by those which have criminal responsibility for people of non-traditional sexual orientation.
“[Homosexuality] is not the choice of our society, but those are people whose rights are not cut.
“[It’s not our] intention to persecute people of whatever non-traditional orientation.”
“We are not punishing anyone, but traditional family, healthy nation — those are our choices.
“One does not exclude the other, and one does not affect the other. I believe, a balanced approach like this is absolutely correct.”
Despite his claims, Putin signed a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” last year – effectively banning the gay rights movement.