• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 1:46am
NewsWorld
RUSSIA

Putin says gays have nothing to fear at Games but links them to paedophilia

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 2:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 January, 2014, 2:15am

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday said gays need not fear persecution at the Winter Olympic Games, but stood by a controversial ban on promoting homosexuality to children.

"We don't have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations between people," Putin told a group of volunteers who will be working at the Games.

"We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia," Putin said in televised comments from the host city Sochi, with three weeks to go until the event.

"We don't ban anything and we won't arrest anyone," he said. "Therefore you can feel calm, relaxed. But leave children alone please."

Gay rights activists around the world have called for a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics in protest against a law banning the dissemination of so-called "gay propaganda" to minors.

The president's comments, reiterating a stance that suggests homosexuals prey on young people, were unlikely to appease critics of the ban.

One of the volunteers, set to assist visitors at the Games, commented on their rainbow-coloured uniforms and asked if they could be breaching the ban on gay propaganda, the Interfax news agency reported.

"How did it happen that we have a law banning gay propaganda, but the volunteers' uniform is rainbow coloured?" she asked.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or