The Human Rights Campaign has published a blistering reaction to the comments made by Vladimir Putin on yesterday’s broadcast of ABC’s This Week.
“President Putin’s public interpretation of the country’s anti-LGBT law is beyond comprehension,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This law was designed to do nothing less than secure second class status for LGBT Russians and visitors. It does nothing to protect children, but goes great lengths to harm families.” Putin told Stephanopoulos athletes who protest or wear a rainbow pin will not be prosecuted under the law, noting there is a small difference between protesting the law and violating it. His statements today contradict those of government officials who last year said visitors are not exempt from. Under the law foreigners can not only be fined, but also face arrest and up to 15 days in jail, followed by eventual deportation. Putin also compared the country’s anti-LGBT law with those of some U.S. states, saying laws are still on the books criminalizing homosexuality. Stephanopoulos promptly corrected the Russian President, explaining to him the Supreme Court struck down those laws. “Americans, and the citizens of the world are against archaic and dangerous laws that single out a group of people,” Griffin added. “The blatant lie that gays and lesbians are not discriminated at all in Russia only serves to undermine Putin’s credibility around the globe.”