Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’d refuse to shower with a gay man.
The Russian President, who has presided over the country’s anti-gay propaganda law, was speaking to filmmaker Oliver Stone for The Putin Interviews.
In a discussion about the military, Stone had asked the leader: “If you’re taking a shower in a submarine with a man and you know he’s gay, do they have a problem with that?”
According to the Daily Beast, Putin responded: “Well, I prefer not to go to shower with him. Why provoke him?
“But you know, I’m a judo master and a SAMBO master as well.”
He added: “I can tell you this, that as head of state today, I believe it’s my duty to uphold traditional values and family values.
“But 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. But that doesn’t mean that there should be any persecution against anyone.”
Putin is often hostile to Russia’s own LGBT community, signing the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law back in 2013.
However, Putin has previously sought to play down his anti-LGBT image on the global stage, suggesting that Russia’s homophobia has been “deliberately exaggerated”.
He claimed previously: “The problem of sexual minorities in Russia has been deliberately exaggerated from the outside for political reasons, I believe, without any good basis.
“People of non-traditional sexual orientation work, they live in peace, they get promoted, they get state awards for their achievements in science and arts or other areas. I personally have awarded them medals, but we have a ban on gay propaganda. I don’t see anything un-democratic in that.”
Citing the fact that a number of US states keep defunct sodomy laws on their books, he said: “It’s well known that in four states in America, homosexual orientation is a crime, whether it’s good or bad we don’t know.
“We know there is the ruling of the Supreme Court, but this problem has not completely disappeared, it’s not completely removed from American legislation, but we don’t have that.
“I definitely condemn that. I believe there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution of infringement of those rights, on the basis of sexual orientation. We don’t have that… we’ve abolished all of that.”
All US sodomy laws were rendered unenforceable back in 2003.
Defending Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law, he said: “I believe we should leave kids in peace. We should give them a chance to grow, help them to realise who they are and decide for themselves.
“Do they consider themselves a man or a woman? A female? A male? Do they want to live in a normal, natural marriage or a non-traditional one? That’s the only thing I wanted to talk about. I don’t see here any infringement on the rights of gay people.”
Related: French President Macron challenges Putin on LGBT rights