2013-09-20 11:42:00

There are no laws in Russia that punish sexual minorities - Putin

Valdai, September 20, Interfax - There are no laws encroaching on the rights of sexual minorities in Russia, but the country has now made its choice on same-sex marriage, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We have no oppression based on gender. There are no laws in Russia that punish sexual minorities for their orientation," Putin said at the discussion club Valdai.

"There is nothing to worry about there. We have adopted a law prohibiting the propaganda [of homosexuality] among minors," Putin said.

Putin said Europe and Russia have demographic problems. "Europeans are dying out. Don't you understand that? And same-sex marriages don't produce children. Do you want to survive by drawing migrants? But society cannot adapt so many migrants. Your choice in many countries is the way it is: recognition of same-sex marriage, adoption, etc. But let us make our own choice the way we see it for our country," Putin said.

Putin recalled that some U.S. states still have criminal liability for homosexuality. "Why does everyone like to focus on Russia? You shouldn't fuel tensions here, there is nothing terrible in it." Putin said.

Putin said that "the rights of representatives of sexual minorities are not restricted in Russia in any way."

"We have no laws restricting them in anything, in the workplace or in any spheres of activity. I communicate with these people, I even give them state awards if they have earned them by their work," the president said.