Russian President Vladimir Putin Says He Has Gay Friends, Doesn't "Care About A Person's Sexual Orientations"
Despite a ban on same-sex couples' adoption rights and vehemently supporting his country's prohibition of being gay in public, Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that he's not homophobic, has gay friends and couldn't care less about a person's sexual orientation.
"I myself know some people who are gay—we are on friendly terms," Putin said during an interview with the BBC. "I am not prejudiced in any way."
"If you want my personal attitude," he added, "I would tell you that I don’t care about a person’s sexual orientation."
As long as they keep it secret, I assume?
Putin went on to say that he respects accomplished gay celebrities and artists, and would welcome them into the country (as long as they don't go in public, in vagrant abuse of Russia's anti-gay law, I guess?). "When they achieve great success [I award them]," Putin said. "For example, Elton John is an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician, and millions of our people sincerely love him, regardless of his sexual orientation."
As for members of the LGBT community who haven't achieved great success? They're fined, thrown in jail and silenced, as Tuesday's arrest of Pavel Lebedev, who had the audacity to raise a rainbow flag during an Olympic torch relay in Russia, shows.