During a lengthy interview with Russian President Vladimir Putinon Sunday's This Week, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Putin about the country's anti-gay laws.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Stephanopoulos asked Putin whether gay people will be prosecuted under the propaganda law if they wear a rainbow pin at Sochi.
Acts of protest and acts of propaganda are somewhat different things. They are close, but if we were to look at them from the legal perspective, then protesting a law does not amount to propaganda of sexuality or sexual abuse of children. That's one. Two is that I'd like to ask our colleagues, my colleagues and friends, that as they try to criticize us, they would do well to set their own house in order first. I did say, after all, and this is public knowledge, that in some of the states in the U.S., homosexuality remains a felony.
Stephanopolous replied that "the Supreme Court has struck those laws down."
How are they in a position to criticize us for what is a much softer, liberal approach to these issues than in their own country? I know that this isn't something that can be easily done. This is so because there are a lot of folks in the U.S. who share the view that the legislation in their state or in their nation is appropriate, well grounded, and is in sync with the sentiment of the vast majority of the population...The Russian people have their own cultural code, their own traditions. We don't interfere. Don't stick our noses in their life. And we ask that our traditions and culture are treated with the same respect.
Finally, Putin tried to turn the conversation to countries with stricter anti-gay laws:
Russia does not criminally prosecute people for being gay, unlike in over one-third of the world's nations. Seventy of the world's nations consider homosexual behavior a crime. Seven out of the 70 use capital punishment for homosexuality. What does it mean? Does it mean we need to cancel any major international sports events in those countries? Probably not.
Watch the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...