Oliver Stone praises Russia’s ‘sensible’ anti-gay law

oliver stone vladimir putin russia gay propaganda
Photo: Kremlin.ru/Creative Commons

Film director Oliver Stone appears to have praised Russia’s law banning “gay propaganda” in an interview with Vladimir Putin.

The JFK and Snowden director interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 19. And last Friday, the Kremlin published a transcript of the conversation online.

Stone told Putin that the anti-gay Russian law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors.”

“I don’t know what is going on with the American culture. It’s very strange right now,” Stone said, according to the transcript.

“I’m shocked by some of the behaviours and the thinking of the new generation. It takes so much for granted.

“And so much of the argument, so much of the thinking, so much of the newspaper, television commentaries about gender, people identify themselves, and social media, this and that, I’m male, I’m female, I’m transgender, I’m cisgender.

“It goes on forever, and there is a big fight about who is who. It seems like we miss the bigger point.”

He added: “It’s not a healthy culture. Years ago when we were talking about homosexuality, you said that, ‘in Russia we don’t propagate it’… It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law.”

Putin then responds: “[The law] is aimed at allowing people to reach maturity and then decide who they are and how they want to live.

“There are no restrictions at all after this.”

Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law violates human rights

But of course that’s not true.

The law, introduced in 2013, effectively bans all public expression of LGBTIQ identities. The Russian government has used it to justify a broader crackdown on both LGBTIQ protests and groups.

Human rights groups say the law has caused an increase in homophobic vigilantism in the country.

Just last week, the European Court of Human Rights fined Russia for blocking the formation of three LGBT+ groups. The Russian government cited the “gay propaganda” law to claim that the groups’ aims were “contrary to national traditions”.

But the court found that the Russian government had discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation and violated people’s right to freedom of association.

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