NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 3./TASS/. Russian people are treated equally regardless of race, gender, or belief, President Vladimir Putin emphasized on Friday.
"Russia has never had, nor does it have, nor will it ever have anything connected to restricting anyone’s rights based on sexual orientation, race or religious beliefs," Putin told an online meeting with the members of the working group that had drafted constitutional amendments.
The president also joked about the recent unveiling of a rainbow flag on the building of the US Embassy in Moscow late in June. "They [embassy staff] showed something about who works there [in the US embassy]," he said, after hearing a story about what had happened.
Touching on the restrictions in place in Russia, the president mentioned the ban on the promotion of homosexuality among minors. "Let a person first grow up, become an adult, and then let them decide on their own fate," Putin insisted, explaining the logic of the ban. "Nothing must be imposed, that’s what we are against," he said.
According to Putin, those who accuse Russia of violating the rights of sexual minorities, "are simply knocking their heads against the wall." "They’d be better off taking care of themselves," he said, reminding the audience about criminal persecution that people with non-traditional sexual orientations face in certain countries, including in the US, and even capital punishment is envisaged in some other countries. "So let them get their act together, and sort out their own business [in their countries — TASS]," the president stressed.
On June 25, the US Embassy in Moscow unfurled a rainbow flag along the facade of its building. Embassy sources told TASS that the rainbow flag had been designed by US painter and activist Gilbert Baker, and was raised for the first time during the Gay Freedom Parade on June 25, 1978 in San Francisco as a symbol of hope and diversity. They also said that June is Pride Month, when Americans celebrate, "that everyone deserves a life free from hatred, prejudice and persecution."