Putin tells gays attending Sochi Olympics to “leave kids alone”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that gays attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as either athletes, media or guests, won’t be arrested under Russia’s draconian new anti-gay propaganda law, provided that they “leave kids alone.”

Putin’s comments contradicted earlier assurances, given in an interview in September, that the anti-gay law would not apply to Olympians.

In other words, Vladimir Putin just reiterated the fact that the anti-gay law does apply to the Olympics, and that athletes, guests and media who run afoul of the law will be thrown in jail.

Russia passed draconian anti-gay law this past summer

Russia passed the law, banning “gay propaganda,” last summer as part of a larger crackdown on dissent and minorities in the country.  The ban is so broad that it would likely make it illegal for anyone to be openly gay, unless they publicly profess that they hate themselves.

Putin used to run the domestic equivalent of the KGB.

Putin used to run the domestic equivalent of the KGB.

The ban also makes it illegal for straight people to express any kind of public support for gay people.  A Russian newspaper recently ran afoul of the law for simply including a quote from a gay person in an article about that person losing their job because they’re gay.

And Russia’s Jewish autonomous region was recently investigated by Moscow because its flag has a rainbow on it, and the rainbow is one of the symbols of the gay rights movement (fortunately for the Jewish region, Moscow deemed their flag to be not-gay).

Interior Ministry and sports minister affirmed that law would apply to Olympians

Shortly after the law was passed, Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko, and the Interior Ministry, both affirmed that the Olympic athletes, media and guests would be arrested if they violated the new law. Nonetheless, many in the media mistakenly interpreted Putin’s September interview as evidence that the law would be suspended during the Olympics. Put has now made clear that that is not the case.

Pedophilia charge long-since discredited

The Washington Post article this morning about Putin’s new threat against Olympians, which was otherwise quite good, did not mention that the gay-pedophilia canard was discredited decades ago by the western scientific community.

From the American Psychological Association:

Despite a common myth, homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.

The Post risked leaving the impression, with any readers who aren’t terribly informed on the topic, that perhaps the allegation was true. It’s not enough to say that human rights activists won’t like the accusation that gays are a threat to children. The media needs to be clear in their reporting on this that the accusation is a lie that was debunked years ago.  Not only are many Americans probably not aware of this fact, people like Putin are betting that his own citizens have no idea as to the truth on this matter.  Thus, it behooves the media to not simply leave defamatory, and untrue, allegations dangling.

Russian Foreign Ministry document calls gays "queers."

Russian Foreign Ministry document calls gays “queers.”

Putin also added – falsely – that, unlike the US, Russia does not criminalize sex between gay people.  In fact, the US Supreme Court struck down those law, in the remaining states that had them, in 2003, 11 years ago.   Perhaps Putin is getting his “gay facts” from the same Russian official who decided to translate “nontraditional [sexual] orientations” to “queers” in an official Russian Foreign Ministry report.

Russia’s race to the 19th century

What’s interesting about Putin’s latest barrage against gays is that he’s gone back in time and chosen a religious right “fact” that was debunked decades ago in the west.  This suggests that either Putin is a liar, or that Russia’s scientific and medical community is horribly backwards.  And even if Russia’s science communities aren’t backwards, and know that Putin is lying, Russia is so not-free that there is no way that the experts can publicly challenge Putin’s bizarre assertion without losing their jobs, at the very least, and possibly even their lives.

It’s also a sign of how far America’s religious right has infiltrated Russia.  With their prospects dimming in the states, as even Republicans are now embracing gay people, America’s “christian conservatives” have moved abroad, and are attempting to pass anti-gay legislation in Russia, Eastern  Europe and Africa.

Even Republican House Speaker John Boehner recently held a meeting in the US Capitol to look at Russia’s and Africa’s “best practices” for oppressing gays.  And the secretive GOP organization known as “The Family” has also been heavily involved in this area.

The real threat to children is Vladimir Putin and Russian homophobia

Of course, the real threat to Russian children has been the oppressive anti-gay atmosphere created by Putin and others in Russia in recent years.  Vigilante groups now operate freely in the country, where they kidnap young gay teens and torture them, on camera, then post the videos on Russia social media, while Russian authorities refuse to prosecute, even though they have clear images of the perpetrators on camera, and even their hometowns.

russia gay kidnap

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, tortured and filmed by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest.

Putin also claimed in the interview that police do not pluck gays off the street in Russia.  No need for that when the neo-Nazis, who are in cahoots with the government, do it for you.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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64 Responses to “Putin tells gays attending Sochi Olympics to “leave kids alone””

  1. amp-inks says:

    Yes, with Putin being named the world’s most powerful man by forbes magazine.

  2. Lt_Greyman_NVA says:

    Liberals loved the gay pedophilic Priests in the Catholic Church. He just doesn’t want those same gay pedophiles jumping on a plane and going after Russian boys. I can understand that.

  3. Russiaok says:

    All Putin is saying is leave the children ALONE. There is NO reason to push a homosexual agenda on innocent children. Let them be children. Leave the gay agenda to the adults.

  4. John De Salvio says:

    You are making a charge against me in a public forum that can lead to litigation. Are you ready for that?

  5. Tax Slave says:

    Any pervert who molests children deserves a nasty beating regardless of sexual orientation or preference.

  6. Tax Slave says:

    Leave those kids alone!

  7. karmanot says:

    How we miss this man, but his particular song remains immortal.

  8. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Child molesters are neither heterosexual or homosexual. Their sexual orientation is pedophile.

  9. JayRandal says:

    Gays do NOT sexually abuse children. Perverted heterosexuals molest children. Not only is Putin a rotten to the core leader of Russia but also stupid too.

  10. JLSR says:

    But Putin says, “Heterosexual pedophiles are welcome.”

  11. JLSR says:

    There is no “God,” of any religion. Get over it and stop using a “God” to feel ok about spewing your hate.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    And an unrepentant Stalinist goon who rebranded as a capitalist goon.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    Yes, but not Stalinism.

  14. Bill_Perdue says:

    Still upset that I called Romney/Obamacare a fraud and Obama a crook and a liar. Health care is the dividing line between rightwingers like you and most Republicans and Democrats

    Thanks for the opportunity to repeat, merrily cutting as pasting as I go, the proof for my statement. Obama took about $20 million in bribes and had a couple of
    dozen secret meetings with the owners of HMOs and Big Pharma and then he scuttled single payer. “The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle. Currently, the Center’s website shows
    that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector, which includes health
    professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes
    ($3.3m) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m).” http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/01/12/obama-received-20-million-healthcare-industry-money-2008/

    While he was getting those bribes, mislabeled “campaign contributions” he was having secret meetings with the health care sector of the .01% . LA Times July 22, 2009 “the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the Secret Service asking about visits from 18
    executives representing health insurers, drug makers, doctors and other players
    in the debate.”

    Charges of pedophilia are very common among christers but they’re just as putrid when they come from islamists and juadaists. (You are christer, aren’t you? Is this you arguing with some other right winger? !!!!WARNING CUTTING AND PASTING!!!! ““I don’t need drugs, Christ and the truth are the light and the way!

    Yes, I’m aware Jesus wouldn’t approve of my methods. Extremely desperate times call for desperate measures! I keep praying your kind will see how my post are just like your own and stop your lies, ignorance and hate! So far, you’re mostly failing! People like you who make charges charges of pedophilia because they’re too stupid to deal with the fact of Obama/Romneycare are disgusting and anti-gay. Charges of pedophilia are the Sine qua non of christer and anti-gay bigotry. And proof that many superstitious people walk on the edge of sanity and that some fall.

  15. pappyvet says:

    Check your site Sis , something for those troublesome days ;]

  16. Lawerence Collins says:

    I see you run from site to site, copying and pasting. Are you a secret closeted pedophile also!? Pitons a odious, sick, twisted fraud.

  17. Moderator3 says:

    Sorry about that. I guess we forgot to spray the Troll Be Gone.

  18. BeccaM says:

    Shoo, bigot. Oh wait, I see you’ve already been banned. Buh-bye!

  19. zerosumgame0005 says:

    and a total dick

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s just as vile as “”I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” That’s what Obama said and it insured the passage of Prop 8. Since then he’s rebranded because he feared defeat in 2012.

    I don’t think Putin is going to rebrand. He’s more like our version of Reagan or Clinton.


  21. tedhayes says:

    He’s confusing us with the heterosexuals.

  22. Darlene P. Monroe says:


    ♋♋♋♋♋ ♋♋♋

  23. GOD has finally given up on OSAMA AMERICA and has now sided with COMMUNISTS. You must be happy now?

  24. devlzadvocate says:

    That tired old trick still works. Get the people to shift blame for problems to “them” and they won’t focus on you.

  25. Jett says:

    Don’t send Catholic Priests there. The children have far more to fear from them.

  26. Strepsi says:

    Yeah the people who say “What’s Putin gonna do?” forget he PUT RUSSIA’S RICHEST MAN IN PRISON FOR GOING AGAINST HIM

    In 2004, Khodorkovsky was the wealthiest man in Russia and one of the richest people in the world, ranked 16th on Forbes list of billionaires. He had worked his way up the Communist apparatus during the Soviet years, and began several businesses during the era of glasnost and perestroika. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he accumulated wealth through the development of Siberian oil fields as the head of Yukos, one of the largest Russian companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s.

    He was arrested on 25 October 2003, to appear before investigators as a witness, but within hours of being taken into custody he was charged with fraud. The government under Vladimir Putin then froze shares of Yukos shortly thereafter on tax charges. The state took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse of the company’s share price and the evaporation of much of Khodorkovsky’s wealth. He was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison in May 2005. While still serving his sentence, Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedevwere further charged and found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering in December 2010, extending his prison sentence to 2014.

  27. Strepsi says:

    Man you from Lazybrook but you ain’t lazy! Thanks for the amazing list. Lies need to be called out EVERY time… I wish more American reporters were journalists and not stenographers.

  28. Ninong says:

    How about the German Olympic team’s uniforms?

  29. Ninong says:

    You’re right, they can’t print anything positive about “non-traditional sexual relations” because that would be a violation of the law against such “propaganda to minors.” Unless that comes under the heading of simply sticking the warning at the top of the column advising readers that the article they are about to read concerns the topic of non-traditional sexual relations. I have seen that used a lot in the Russian print media as a warning even on news reports that do not contain anything positive, just an account of the news that happens to mention that topic.

  30. Zorba says:

    The Russian Orthodox Church (and other religions) were supressed under the Soviets. Now that the USSR is no more, the Russian Orthodox Church is in the ascendancy, and a whole lot of the anti-gay propaganda, anti-gay laws, and repression of the GLBT community is a result of the Russian Orthodox Church, Putin’s good buddy, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I, and the bishops and priests. Welcome to the 1800’s.
    (Of course, I am sure that the Jewish people in Russia might take exception to your statement that anything was better under the Soviets. The Jews have been perennial scapegoats in Russia.)

  31. karmanot says:

    Backward, primitive Russia is not ready for the big time.

  32. Jett says:

    Putin is homophobic, and a lunatic.

  33. FLL says:

    Putin may be able to intimidate the Russian media. In that case, only the Western media will ask King questions about either her sexuality or gay rights. Putin could certainly have those reports from Western media censored for Russian viewers. Putin could then pretend that no offensive questions were ever asked, offering him a sneaky alternative to having Billie Jean King arrested. Putin’s strategy, then, would be all pretense and very lame. In my opinion, it would amount to Westerners calling his bluff.

  34. Thom Allen says:

    I read an article describing the truly horrific conditions in Russian orphanages: overcrowding, diseases, child beating, limited food, erratic education, etc. Yet the Russians would rather leave their orphans in situations like that than have them adopted by gay singles or married couples. And, beyond that, they won’t allow the children to be adopted by straights in countries where same-sex marriage is permitted. What a bunch of really depraved assholes the Russian people are.

  35. Thom Allen says:

    My guess is that if Billie Jean gets a gay question with any Russian media present, they’ll cut away from her answer so the Russian public and their spawn won’t be offended. An alternate solution is for the media to display a sign saying that the comments are restricted to those over 18. The Russian government is allowing gay magazines and newspapers to continue to publish but they have to have a warning displayed on them that they are for adults only.

    I’m not sure that Russia would want to have a major confrontation during Sochi by arresting a foreigner supporting LGBTQs in Russia. Unless, that is, the foreigner made some major gesture – like leading a pro-LGBTQ demonstration that couldn’t be quietly ignored. After all, they have had Elton John, Gaga and others make supportive comments and they weren’t arrested or deported.

    I think Vlad made that statement as a reaction to the US sending out LGBTQ delegation and other countries doing the same (Germany, Britain, France).

  36. Thom Allen says:

    Iz rocks. Thanks, Pappy!

  37. Jonas Grumby says:

    Hmm. You’d think he’d worry about pedophiles and not Gays.

    I was a Prosecutor and defense atty for about 25 years. I prosecuted/represented more pedophiles than I care to count. Not a single one of them was homosexual. Heterosexuals all. And most could have lined people up around the block touting their Christian credentials.

  38. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    P.S. – I just downloaded it.

  39. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    I’m tired of the misdirections so I’ve put together a list of Russia’s lies about the bill and some proposed responses
    Lie #1: “This bill does not take away any rights of sexual minorities in Russia”. RESPONSE: “Not true. This bill as applied makes it impossible for Russian Gays to exercise their freedom of petition, protest, press, religion, speech, association or expression. In full violation of ECHR Treaty to which Russia is a signatory and the Russian Constitution”.
    Lie #2:”This is only about what Gays do in public. We don’t bother them in private”. RESPONSE: “Not true. Huge lie. Gay events in PRIVATE in Russia are frequently (perhaps systematically) attacked by regime supporters with zero prosecutions and jail time. In the last year alone over 30 cases of violent attacks have occurred around the small number of Gay bars in Moscow and St Petersburg with no prosecutions or jail time for those gassing, shooting, and beating up patrons at Russia’s Gay bars. In addition, a Gay film festival in Novisibirsk was cancelled after the police refused to protect the event from a violent mob. No jail time for the mob there.”
    Lie #3:”We don’t discriminate against Gays”. RESPONSE: “Again, not true. There are multiple cases of blatent discrimination against Gay persons, including at Aeroflot and by regime supporter Expedition, that although against Russian law, have never been resolved in favor of the Gay person”.
    Lie #4:”It is outrageous to call Russia’s treatment of gays a pogrom”. RESPONSE. “Its complete appropriate to do so. Russia’s LGBT community is under a sustained assault by Russia, with the apparent license of the state, as there have been no jail terms for the perpetrators. Even when beatings, kidnappings, sexual assaults have been filmed, no jail time. It is obvious that the state doesn’t wish to jail the violent anti-Gay thugs running rampant all over the streets of Russia. That inaction creates a license for those wishing to commit violent acts against Russia’s LGBT persons to do so. Individuals tied to the Russian state have called for direct violence against Gays, including members of Russia’s state church and famous actors in public without prosecutions using Russia’s existing extremism laws. The term pogrom is appropriate.”
    Lie #5: “The USA isn’t perfect, so we are no worse than them on Gay rights”. RESPONSE: “Not true. Even in Alabama when crimes against Gay persons occur they are vigerously prosecuted and those crimes result in long jail terms”.
    Someone should send everyone at NBC and the rest of the press a list like this so that the press if prepared to not take Russia’s lies at face value.

  40. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I have heard this haunting rendition before, but never knew the origin. Thank you.

  41. silas1898 says:

    They could arrest her and simply take her to the airport and deport her. Being a member of the official delegation, she probably has immunity.

  42. BeccaM says:

    Thanks, I needed that. It’s not been a good day here.

  43. BeccaM says:

    Of course it is illegal in Russia for gay people to sleep with each other. All that has to happen is for anybody to find out about it — and suddenly it is ‘gay propaganda.’

    It may not be an explicit ban on ‘sodomy’ as some states in America once had (but have not since Lawrence), but in a de facto manner Russia’s legal situation now amounts to the same thing.

    But yes, the Washington Post fails at Journalism 101 by neglecting to point out that Putin’s justification is based on lies and slander. And nobody in Russia is allowed to say even that much, to point out that there is NO legitimate science linking homosexuality with pedophilia, without running afoul of their anti-gay pogrom-enabling laws.

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  45. yeah I agree, bring back the USSR.

  46. BeccaM says:

    I’m not so sure Ms. King will be asked anything about her sexuality by the Russian media. They will probably be under direct orders not to ask or report anything — even if non-Russian media goes ahead and asks the questions.

  47. Indigo says:

    Have the Russians really got that stupid? They were doing much better under the Soviets.

  48. Badgerite says:

    I can’t think of anything more perverted than those f-cking videos those vigilantes post. Is that really their idea of civilized, moral behavior? Thuggery?
    Masha Gessen brought her family to the United States to keep them safe from Putin. In fact, she has a new book out about Pussey Riot and some of the horrendous things they went through in prison. It’s called, Words Will Break Cement, The Passion of Pussy Riot.
    NPR’s Fresh Air has a podcast on them on January 08, 2014. She is a welcome addition to the USA.

  49. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Meanwhile the organizer of those attacks has been sent on a fabulous vacation to Cuba and Thailand, instead of being thrown in jail. By the way, he should be past his Cuban visa allotment time for a Russian Citizen. Anyone know how to shame Mariela Castro into doing something to get the thug behind this thrown in prison or publically deported so that everyone will know where he is? I heard the NGLTF made a big deal about inviting her to a US symposium. Perhaps we can lean on them to lean on her.

  50. Mighty says:

    Running afoul of the law aka wearing a rainbow flag pin, shirt or other symbol of lgbt freedom. I think everyone there should wear pink triangles since Putin’s laws are more like Nazi laws might as well use the appropriate Nazi symbology.

  51. Rob says:

    Yep, attempting to call Putin’s bluff has landed hundreds of people in Russian prisons for decades without discretion.

    I’m surprised and disappointed that more athletes haven’t said “to hell with this”, although I can understand that many have dedicated their lives to have this opportunity, and it would be a huge sacrifice to walk away.

    Anyways, I won’t be watching this commercialized garbage regardless of where it is.

  52. karmanot says:

    Russian primitives 1; Billy Jean 0.

  53. FLL says:

    You may be right. I agree that the Russians do not use spin the way Westerners do because Russia is an authoritarian society rather than a society with free speech.In any case, an international incident would definitely serve a purpose.

  54. Strepsi says:

    Your post is great! But he’s not bluffing. Russians are so nationalistic, that if you call what is a bluff, they will double down and take action so it’s no longer a bluff.

    Not a single Russian politician has used our North American techniques of spin or back-pedalling… they reiterate what they mean and double down. So would they arrest her? Quite possibly.

    But it’s the poor non-famous Russian nobodies that my heart goes out to. I want to open asylum for victims of violence in Russia, Uganda and Nigeria. We would be morally and culturally richer for it.

  55. nicho says:

    Putin has only two constituencies in Russia — the orthodox church and skinhead thugs. He’s playing to both of them.

  56. FLL says:

    Putin is following the classic Anita Bryant playbook from 1977. Bryant made a very clear argument in 1977 that if gay people came out in their professional lives—for example, at work—that this amounted to an attack on children and was the equivalent of preying on children. Billie Jean King recently told Stephen Colbert that if, while she was in Russia, the media asked her a question about her sexuality, she would answer it honestly. The scenario is now set. The Russian media will undoubtedly ask Bill Jean King about her sexuality and she will answer their questions. Will Putin have her arrested using Anita Bryant’s argument that the mere act of publicly coming out is preying on children? Either there will be an international incident or Putin will humiliate himself by showing the whole world that he was bluffing. I see a lot of bluffing these days. B-L-U-F-F-I-N-G.

  57. John De Salvio says:

    If Vlad wants to ban pedophiles from the Olympic Games, he had better ban the straight people. More that 90% of pedophiles are otherwise straight.

  58. pappyvet says:

    Screw the poot



  59. basenjilover says:

    Putin is a twisted pathetic little man. Poor Johnny Weird sobbing to one of news media gays are being mean to him.

  60. Gracchus says:

    Can we give them Johnny Weir? :-)

  61. nicho says:

    Wow, a cold-blooded murderer has a soft spot in his heart for kids. How inspiring.

  62. Jimmy says:

    Ever the asshole.

  63. Ninong says:

    Putin didn’t change his position in any way, but he did prove to the world just how bigoted and ignorant he really is. “One can feel calm and at ease,” he said. “Just leave kids alone, please.”
    He went on to point out that homosexuality is not a crime in Russia, as it was in the Soviet Union. Homosexuality was legalized in 1993. He then claimed that in the United States some states still impose criminal penalties for homosexual relations but not Russia. Dude! Try to keep up. The Supreme Court declared all of those state laws unconstitutional in 2003.

    Nothing has changed, including Little Vlad’s amazing ignorance. No doubt he’s just mouthing the position of the Patriarch of Moscow in order to appeal to Russia’s very homophobic Russian Orthodox Christians.

  64. heimaey says:

    Yeah because he takes such good care of his citizens.

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