Putin: If Berlusconi Were Gay, “Nobody Would Dare Touch Him”

How It Works
Sept. 19 2013 1:49 PM

Putin: If Berlusconi Were Gay, “Nobody Would Dare Touch Him”

93116127
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) joke as they prepare to have informal dinner in a tent in a wildlife preserve and recreation area near a residence of Zavidovo some 120 km north-west of Moscow, 03 February 2003

Photo by ALEXEI PANOV/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis may have made headlines today with surprisingly open-minded comments about homosexuality, but another world leader has gone in the opposite direction. Here’s what Vladimir Putin had to say today about his friend Silvio Berlusconi, who is currently appealing a conviction for having sex with an underage prostitute, as reported by Agence France Presse today:

"Berlusconi is on trial for living with women, but if he were a homosexual, nobody would dare touch him," Putin said during a discussion with international experts and journalists at the Valdai Club in the northwestern Novgorod region.

Advertisement

The comment mirrors Berlusconi’s own defense of his actions in 2010, when he said, “ if occasionally I happen to look a beautiful girl in the face, it's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”

At the same conference, Putin denied that gays face discrimination in Russia and suggested that European countries reconsider their laws allowing gay marriage since "the Europeans are dying out ... and gay marriages don't produce children."

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:29 PM Want to Know What Makes David Fincher Great? Focus on What He Doesn’t Do.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?