Russia’s pride in Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, even though he was gay, is proof that the country does not discriminate against homosexuals, President Vladimir Putin said.
Putin was apparently seeking to ease concerns that a new law banning “gay propaganda” will be used to clamp down on gay rights.
“Tchaikovsky was gay — although it’s true that we don’t love him because of that — but he was a great musician and we all love his music. So what?,” Putin said in an interview with Russian state Channel 1 television.
“There is no cause to make a mountain out of a molehill, nothing scary or terrible is happening here in our country.”
Asked whether he would meet members of the gay and lesbian community, Putin said, “I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes.”