Putin ally says society should resist gay activism

Fri Mar 6, 2015 12:49pm EST
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By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - Traditional family values need to be supported against activism by the gay minority, and the idea that gays were suppressed in Russia was "a trick", a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

"We should not rape nature because of ideological, political or individual preferences," said Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, who was hosting a conference in Geneva to promote his foundation, the Endowment for St Andrew the First Called.

A brochure from the conference, on the "sanctity of motherhood", called for "socially responsible media" to resist attempts to redefine the family, which it said were "an irresponsible manipulation of the most profound parts of the human nature".

Asked if he was afraid of gays or of an open debate about gay marriage, Yakunin drew applause and shouts of "bravo" from the audience with his response.

“Practically, if Reuters, or yourself, will show me the man who gave birth to a child, then the question is obsolete," he said.

Supporting families had nothing to do with oppression of gay minorities, he said, but was a reaction to activists who cross the line from personal life into political and social activism.

"We all know that in political life it is not the majority that is actually creating regimes and states and rule them," he said. "Through the history of mankind, we know that active minorities were actually the rulers of the systems.

"It is extremely important to point out that it is just a trick to say that gays are suppressed – it is not true. It is just not true."   Continued...

Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways, speaks during the Gaidar Forum 2015 "Russia and the World: New Dimensions" in Moscow, January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov