The Russian President has told reporters he was very tired of their persistent interest in his attitude to same sex marriage, but promised to support the ban on adoptions by foreign same sex couples if parliament approves it.
“You really got me with these same sex marriages. Wherever I go… When I come to Europe they are waving their flags there, I come here – now you start pestering me with this,” the Russian leader told the press at a news conference at the Russia-EU summit in Yekaterinburg.
“As for the bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same sex couples, I currently have no such bill and I have not read it. But if such bill is approved by the national parliament I would sign it,” the president said.
Putin also added that in his view all people must be more tolerant and show less aggression, this equally applies to persons of traditional and non-traditional sexual orientation. “Less aggression and less emphasis on these problems would benefit everybody,” he noted.
The Russian President said that the laws in his country were very liberal in regard of LGBT issues and there was no discrimination. “People of all preferences are working in our country, making careers. We recognize them at state level for particular achievements in the fields where they work,” he said.
In January the Russian national parliament approved a law banning gay propaganda.
After France – one of few countries that have bilateral agreements on adoption with Russia – moved to legalize same sex marriage, Russian politicians said that foreign same sex couples should not be allowed to adopt Russian kids. The bill on the subject is still at a preparatory stage.
Russia recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman.
Male homosexuality was a criminal offence punishable by a prison term in the Soviet Union, but this was repealed in 1993. Minorities still accuse the Russian authorities of infringing their rights as they refuse to legalize gay marriage and regularly refuse to license gay pride events.
Officials usually quote public opinion polls saying that the majority of the population would react violently to such moves.