Putin: Gays Will Be Safe at Olympics if They "Just Leave Kids Alone"

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 17 2014 10:45 AM

Putin: Gays Will Be Safe at Olympics if They "Just Leave Kids Alone"

463231567-russian-president-vladimir-putin-meets-upcoming-olympic
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets upcoming Olympic games' volunteers in Sochi on January 17, 2014

Photo by Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images

This, apparently, was Vladimir Putin's attempt to ease the concerns of any Olympic visitors rightly worried about Russia's anti-gay laws, via the Washington Post (emphasis mine)

Putin met with a group of volunteers in the Olympic mountain venue at Krasnaya Polyana on Friday to wish them success at the Games. During a question-and-answer session, one volunteer asked him about Russia’s attitudes toward gays, a subject that has provoked worldwide controversy, and Putin offered what was apparently meant to be a reassuring answer for visitors to the Olympics. "One can feel calm and at ease," he said. "Just leave kids alone, please."
Advertisement

The law at the heart of Russia's anti-gay attitude prohibits the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual practices" among minors, a wording that allows the government to ban gay rights parades and generally snuff out any sane talk of LGBTQ issues under the guise that children might see or hear them—so Putin's absurd comments aren't exactly coming out of left field (or whatever the Russian equivalent is to that). Still, it remains more than a little mind-blowing to hear the not-so-subtle suggestion that gays need to be warned against preying on children, especially in the context of reassurance from the host of the Olympic Games.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.