Putin denies Russian anti gay law a threat to LGBTI people
In an interview at his country residence outside Moscow, President Vladimir Putin told the Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television that LGBTI people had nothing to fear from Russia and they were not discriminated against.
"I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields. We have absolutely normal relations, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary here."
Putin went on to cite the Russian people’s affection for Tchaikovsky as an example of their tolerance for LGBTI people.
“They say that Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a homosexual. Truth be told, we don’t love him because of that, but he was a great musician, and we all love his music. So what?”
The president reiterated an offer to meet with members of the LGBTI community to discuss their concerns and stressed there would be no punishment for Olympic Athletes displaying rainbow pride flags at the upcoming Sochi Olympics, despite the fact he signed a decree banning all protests during the Olympics in August and the anti gay propaganda law will be in effect during the Games.
The law makes it illegal to expose minors to information that portrays LGBTI relationships as normal or attractive. And imposes fines, gaol time and even deportation to anyone convicted.