2010-12-02 15:07:00

Putin claims Russia treats sexual minorities tolerantly, but supports traditional family

Moscow, December 2, Interfax - There are no special bans regarding sexual minorities in Russia, but the state has to solve demographic problems, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"It is well known that same-sex marriages do not produce offspring. Therefore, while we take quite a tolerant approach toward sexual minorities, we still believe that the state should support processes related to child-bearing, maternity, and childhood and care about health," Putin said in an interview with CNN's Larry King.

Demographics are quite a problem in Russia as well as in Europe, Putin said.

"We are making quite considerable efforts to turn this situation around, and we are succeeding in this. We have probably the best rate in Europe at which the situation is changing. For the first time in the past ten to fifteen years, we have seen a sustainable trend toward a growing birthrate, and we have even seen some growth in the country's population this year," he said.

Russia does not have any special bans in relation to sexual minorities, including a ban for them on serving in the military, Putin said.

"We don't have a ban. Sodomy was prosecuted in the Soviet Union, but our current laws do not envision criminal liability for this, and no bans exist," Putin said.