Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, offered his assurance that athletes who display a rainbow flag during the Winter Olympics in Sochi would not be punished by the country’s new anti-gay law. He even insisted that gays are not discriminated against in his country.
“I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields,” Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press and Russia’s state Channel 1 television late Tuesday. “We have absolutely normal relations, and I don’t see anything out of the ordinary here.”
According to ESPN, he also added that Russians love Tchaikovsky, even though the composer was said to have been a homosexual.
“Truth be told, we don’t love him because of that, but he was a great musician and we all love his music,” Putin said.
He even offered to meet with members of the gay and lesbian community if they asked to see him.
But while the statement is a good sign, there’s still a lot of work to be done in Russia when it comes to equality and discrimination. Let’s hope Putin keeps his word.
Oh. He also might not want to refer to the gay and lesbian community as “these people.” Just saying…