September 5, 2013

Dictator Watch - The Putin Tchaikovsky Gambit

Vladimir Putin, Russia's dictator is doing some damage control it appears, because he doesn't want a boycott of the upcoming winter Olympics to affect his credibility.  The dictator has received a lot of backlash about Russia's new law banning of what he calls "gay propaganda".  But the public outcry beyond Russia's borders at least, has been quite vocal.  Putin as a result has had to point out that he and Russia, are not homophobic.
Russia’s pride in composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, even though he was gay, is proof that the country does not discriminate against homosexuals, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

Putin was apparently seeking to ease concerns that a new law banning “gay propaganda” will be used to clamp down on gay rights. The law has been condemned abroad and brought calls from gay rights groups for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

“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 aired on Wednesday.

“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.”
It reads as though it was spoken in the most uncomfortable way possible.
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