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You can live in Russia, but stay away from children: Putin warns homosexuals against influencing minors

Putin said that Russia is tolerant of people with non-traditional sexual orientations, so long as they don't target children or flaunt their preferences.

Reaffirming Russia’s reservations about openly promoting LGBTQ ideologies in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin unequivocally stated that while Russia is not adverse to homosexuals, they should stay away from children. On Tuesday, February 20, while addressing visitors to the ‘Strong Ideas for a New Time’ forum, a yearly event organized by Russia’s state-backed Agency of Strategic Initiatives, Putin said that Russia is tolerant of people with non-traditional sexual orientations, so long as they don’t target children or flaunt their preferences.

The President said, “Adults can live and let live, but children are off-limits.”

We are quite tolerant towards people with non-traditional sexual orientations. We just don’t flaunt it, and we don’t believe it’s right to flaunt it. Let everyone live – the adults – as they want. Nobody limits them in anything,” Putin stated as he added, “As for children, I have already said many times: ‘Don’t touch the children.’ That’s it. This is the first one. And the second one is, we are, first and foremost, a state that is guided by traditional values.”

Russia has progressively strengthened its laws in the last few years to stop the spread of what it refers to as “LGBT ideology.” The campaign started in 2013 when Russia outlawed the dissemination of said propaganda among minors.

Putin cracks down on LGBTQ propaganda

Multiple anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted or strengthened by the Kremlin in recent years as part of a conservative movement.

In 2023, Russia’s Supreme Court declared the ‘international LGBTQ movement’ an extremist group and also outlawed all activity connected to it within the nation which has led to fear of arrest and prosecution among gay and transgender activists there.

The development came three years after the country changed the constitution to assert that marriage is a union only between a man and a woman. Same-sex unions are not recognised in Russia.

In 2022, Russian legislators agreed to toughen the country’s 2013 law against ‘gay propaganda’, prohibiting all Russians from furthering or praising homosexual relationships or publicly implying that they are ‘normal’.

Moscow’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, unanimously approved amendments to strengthen the law against ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’, making such propaganda illegal among Russians of all ages. The first version of the law passed in 2013, prohibited propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships among minors. However, the amendment aims at expanding the law to include those aged 18 and above.

Putin signed a package of amendments that included harsher sanctions for those who advocated gender transition and/or “non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences.” 

Likewise, in 2021, a Russian Court fined social media giant Twitter (now X) for failing to delete illegal content highlighted by the telecom regulator which included child pornography, drug abuse information, calls for minors to commit suicide, and such.

This was, however, the second instance when Twitter had been penalized by the Russian government. It was penalized once before in April too. 

Other big tech companies like Google and China’s TikTok also faced the Russian government’s ire for similar offences as Twitter.

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OpIndia Staff
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