Putin Says Gay People 'Live in Peace' in Russia, Condemns US Laws

Monday September 28, 2015

In an interview with "60 Minutes" Sunday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about gay rights, saying the country's LGBT people "live in peace," and that the reporting on the "homosexual propaganda" law he approved in 2013 has been "deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons."

CBS posted the "60 Minutes" outtake clip Sunday, which shows Putin discussing anti-gay laws in Russia and in the United State. Though the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states this summer, some states still have laws against homosexual relationships, Putin told Charlie Rose. CBS notes this is only partly true - the laws in question invalidated by the high court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.

"We have no persecution at all. People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas. I personally have awarded them medals," Putin said.

He also said he supports equal rights and blames the controversy surrounding the "homosexual propaganda" law, which bans "non-traditional" relationships among minor, on outside reporting on the issue. A number of human rights activists, however, claim the vaguely worded measure allows violence against the LGBT community and allows Russia to silence them.

"The problem of sexual minorities in Russia had been deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons, I believe, without any good basis," the Russian leader told "60 Minutes."

He went on to defend the controversial "homosexual propaganda" law.

"I don't see anything un-democratic in this legal act," Putin said. "I believe we should leave kids in peace. We should give them a chance to grow, help them to realize who they are and decide for themselves. Do they consider themselves a man or a woman? A female? A male? Do they want to live in a normal, natural marriage or a non-traditional one? That's the only thing I wanted to talk about. I don't see here any infringement on the rights of gay people."

Watch the full interview by clicking here.