Russian President Vladimir Putin makes rare appearance on Sunday talk show; PunditFact rates his claims on Truth-o-Meter

4:56 PM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
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Russian President Vladimir Putin

St. Petersburg, Florida - Russia's President made a rare appearance on a Sunday talk show, defending his country's laws when it comes to homosexuality.

PunditFact put his statements to the truth-o-meter.

Russia's stance on homosexuality has drawn attention, especially ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended a new law that makes it illegal to display "gay propaganda" in front of children.

He said this on This Week, "In some of the states in the U.S., homosexuality remains a felony."

PunditFact rates this statement: FALSE.

"The fact is the Supreme Court ruled these laws unconstitutional in 2003. They haven't been enforced... yes they are on the books in some states, they are a felony, but they're unenforceable. They're really not a law, so they're really not a crime, so Putin is trying to pick a fight with the United states but on this point he doesn't really have much to argue about," says Aaron Sharockman, editor of PunditFact.

In the interview Putin also said it's not a crime to be gay in Russia, like it is in in other countries.

"In this country, everybody is absolutely equal to anybody else irrespective of one's religion, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation." He goes on to say, "Seventy  of the world's nation's consider homosexual behavior a crime."

"He gets his numbers from an international group that studies this. There are 76 countries where it is a crime to be gay, half of those countries are in Africa. In Russia it is not a crime to be gay, but there are restrictions on those who are gay," says Sharockman.

PunditFact rates this statement: HALF TRUE.

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