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MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says the claimed problem with rights of gays in Russia is a “label attached by other countries.” He said rights of all categories of people are observed in Russia, but the strategic choice is the traditional family.
“Russia recognizes and does not infringe on the rights of non-traditional sexual orientation,” he said. “It is a label (of a country violating rights of such people) attached to the Russian Federation by other countries, especially by those which have criminal responsibility for people of non-traditional sexual orientation,” the president said at a meeting with human rights activists.
He said in the state of the nation address he mentioned the family is a clear priority in Russia.
“This should not be considered as our intention to persecute people of whatever non-traditional orientation,” Putin said.
He said among the countries which tried to apply the homophobia label to Russia was, among others, the US, where some states have criminal responsibility for homosexuality, though the law had been suspended by the court decision. “We do not have criminal responsibility of the kind,” he said.
Putin said Russia was not only concerned about protection of children from propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation.
“A society, which cannot protect children, does not have future,” he said.
The president said representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation do have their rights.
“This is not the choice of our society, but those are people whose rights are not cut,” he said.
“We are not punishing anyone,” he said adding all people, regardless of their orientations, have social and political rights.
“But traditional family, healthy nation — those are our choices. One does not exclude the other, and one does not affect the other. I believe, a balanced approach like this is absolutely correct,” the president said in conclusion.