Russia’s less-than-stellar human rights record has been under the microscope lately due to the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, and President Vladimir Putin didn’t make things easier with the ignorant anti-gay comments he made on Jan. 17.
Vladimir Putin has never been the most gay-friendly world leader, but he took things to another level on Jan. 17 when he said that gay people needed to “leave the children in peace” during the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Say what?
Putin Confuses Homosexuality With Pedophilia
Whatever your views on homosexuality may be, you have to know that it is in a completely different league than pedophilia. In fact, the two sexual “preferences” aren’t even playing the same ball game. But Putin clearly confused the two during a press conference on Jan. 17 in Sochi, when he attempted to reassure gay visitors to the Sochi games that they would be welcome in Russia as long as they stayed away from children.
Now, to be fair, Putin was trying to emphasize the fact that gay people are welcome in his country, he just went about it all the wrong way. Plus, there’s still a (horrible, discriminatory) law in Russia that prohibits the spread of “gay propaganda” among minors.
“We have no ban on nontraditional sexual relations,” Putin said. “We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia, I want to underline that, on propaganda among minors.”
Basically, you can come to the Olympics and have all the gay sex you want, just as long as you don’t listen to any Cher songs while kids are around.
“We aren’t banning anything,” Putin continued. “We aren’t rounding up anyone; we have no criminal punishment for such relations unlike many other countries. One can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave the children in peace.”
Putin’s Sochi Problem
Of course, this isn’t the only PR crisis that Putin has faced before the February kickoff of the Sochi games. On Dec. 23, two members of the anti-Putin band Pussy Riot were released from prison a few months early, in what was called a blatant PR stunt to distract attention from Russia’s many human rights violations.
“I think this is an attempt to improve the image of the current government, a little, before the Sochi Olympics — particularly for the Western Europeans,” said Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina. “But I don’t consider [my release] humane or merciful.”
What do you think about this madness, HollywoodLifers?
— Shaunna Murphy