On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin mocked the U.S. embassy in Moscow for flying a rainbow flag to celebrate LGBT Pride Month.
According to Reuters, Putin also suggested the U.S. embassy’s move to raise the flag “revealed something about the people that work there”.
“It’s no big deal though. We have spoken about this many times, and our position is clear,” said Putin, who has long sought to distance Russia from the West’s liberal values and align himself more with the Russian Orthodox Church.
“Yes, we passed a law banning the propaganda of homosexuality among minors,” Putin added. “So what? Let people grow up, become adults and then decide their own destinies.”
Putin’s comments came after a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms, including an amendment codifying the definition of marriage being only between a man and a woman.
Reuters reports that the legislation has also been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.
During the campaign to change the constitution, Putin declared that, so long as he rules in Russia, he would not allow the traditional identities of a mother and father to be subverted and changed to “parent number 1” and “parent number 2”.
On Friday, Reuters adds, Women’s Union of Russia head Ekaterina Lakhova told Putin that she worried an ice cream called “Rainbow” and its multi-colored advertising could constitute non-traditional propaganda and have a harmful effect on children.
“Even indirectly, such things make our children accustomed to that … flag, the one that was hung up by the embassy,” Lakhova was cited as saying. “It would be very good to have a commission to make sure that those values that we enshrined in our constitution are upheld.”
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