Putin says it is his ‘duty’ to forbid gays to marry

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Russian President Vladimir Putin sits before speaking at the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York City. The ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis it has spawned are playing a backdrop to this years 70th annual General Assembly meeting of global leaders. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The President of Russia has made one more anti-gay remark. The leader claimed that the demographic situation in Russia is catastrophic and to his mind one of the ways to improve it is to fight against gay marriages as much as possible, because same-sex couples don’t produce children. “I can tell you this… as head of state today, I believe it’s my duty to uphold traditional values and family values. Why? Because same-sex marriages will not produce any children. God has decided, and we have to care about birth rates in our country. We have to reinforce families,” the President said. Maybe we will surprise Mr. Putin, but same-sex couples can have children if their country’s government allows them to (in many countries gay adoption and gay surrogacy is legal). And even if there are no legal options for same-sex parenting, banning gay couples from marriage does not stop them being gay couples and they won’t start ‘conceiving children naturally’ with opposite-sex people just because there is no legal permission for them to marry each other. In the same interview Putin denied that Russia was a homophobic country because “there is no situation like in some Muslim countries where homosexuals face death penalty,” (Putin still denies gay persecution in the Republic of Chechnya which is a subject of Russia). “We have no restrictions or harassment based on gender. Moreover, many people explicitly talk about their non-traditional sexual orientation. We maintain relations with them and many of them achieve outstanding results in their activity… they even get state awards and orders for their achievements,” the Russian leader claimed.

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