In his interview with Larry King Vladimir Putin again has linked the issue of GLBT rights with demography problems. His interview was aired in the USA on Wednesday night.
"Same-sex marriages, as you know, do not have posterity. That's why we are tolerant enough to sexual minorities but, nevertheless, we believe that the state must support the processes connected with child birth, motherhood, childhood, health care", he answered the question on society's mood on gays and lesbians in Russia. "We take serious measures to bring the level of childbirth in Russia to one, I believe, of the highest rates in Europe and we have success in it".
The Russian prime minister stressed that nowadays there were no special bans on homosexuals in Russia, they even had the right to serve in the armed forces, unlike in the USA (DADT policy). "We have no ban. In the USSR there was a criminal persecution for sodomy but present time Russian legislation has no such criminal persecution and there is no gay bans", Mr. Putin is cited as saying by the Russian Government official web portal http://premier.gov.ru (english version >>).
For reference: It is not the first public statement of Vladimir Putin on homosexuals. In spring 2010 he played a flat joke about his possible marriage with Dmitry Medvedev. In February 2007 during his press-conference in the Kremlin on the question about sexual minorities he said "I respect and will respect in the future the freedom of a man in all its diversity. In every manifestation of this freedom".
The gay rights issue was raised several times during the talks of Mr.Putin with politicians - Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (2006), Nicolas Sarkozy and Jan Peter Balkenende (2007).
English translation presented by Yerdna Bananes