Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has told CNN that he knows of no homosexuals who have complained about his country’s law that bans them from publicly discussing their sexual orientation.
Medvedev made the comments yesterday to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, telling her he believed that uproar over Russia’s law banning so-called ‘homosexual propaganda to minors’ was a foreign invention and claimed that no one had been arrested under the law.
‘If you are referring to the situation surrounding the law on the propaganda of so-called ‘non-traditional values’, I believe that only a negligible part of the Russian population is actually concerned about this – that’s my first point,’ Medvedev told Amanpour.
‘Second, so far I have heard virtually nothing about this law actually being applied in practice – there is a lot of talk, but the law has not been applied anywhere.
‘Third, unlike many countries where this kind of sexual relationship is banned, in Russia it isn’t. Therefore, I think all this talk has little to do with what’s actually happening in Russia or with the rights of sexual minorities in Russia.
‘I haven’t heard of a single representative of Russia’s sexual minorities complaining, not even on the internet, about their rights being abused. And yet this caused an uproar outside Russia – so I think this is an artificial problem.
Medvedev said he would change the law if he believed people were being persecuted under it.
‘If we find out that the rights of some group are being abused, no matter which group, we will certainly sit down and amend our legislation to stop this,’ Medvedev said.
‘But at this point, there are absolutely no problems with the law you are talking about.’
A gay Russian protester was arrested in Voronezh on Saturday for unveiling a rainbow flag during an Olympic torch relay.
Earlier this week Russian President Vladimir Putin said the law, which bans public discussion of homosexuality alongside pedophilia, was necessary because unnamed countries were considering legalizing pedophilia.