Putin calls teaching gender fluidity a ‘crime against humanity’

‘We have a different viewpoint,’ president says

Matt Mathers
Friday 22 October 2021 15:31 BST
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Vladimir Putin has claimed the teaching of gender fluidity is a "crime against humanity" and lashed out at cancel culture in the West.

The Russian president was speaking at the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Thursday.

He said some in the West believe “the aggressive deletion of whole pages of their own history, reverse discrimination against the majority in the interests of minorities... constitutes movement toward public renewal.”

Mr Putin added: “It’s their right, but we are asking them to steer clear of our home. We have a different viewpoint.”

The president, who likes to project a strongman image, has repeatedly criticised Western values and previously claimed that liberalism has become "obsolete".

He frequently targets the LGBTQ community, using criticism of gay and transgender people as a lightning rod to fire up his base.

Earlier this year he banned same-sex marriage and said nuptials between two people "will not happen" as long as he is in the Kremlin.

He defended the decision, saying no one would be harmed by it.

At the meeting on Thursday, the president also said transgender rights supporters were demanding an end to "basic things such as mother, father, family or gender differences.”

Mr Putin is attempting to show that he “stands for values that will not divide society and throw it into chaos,” Matthew Sussex, a Russian expert at the Australian National University, told the Washington Post.

“On the one hand it’s a unifying message. But on the other hand, it does hit... the transgender and gay communities that the Russian government has continued to target.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the speech should not affect Russia’s relationship with Western countries.

“Russia has been, is, and will be an integral part of Europe,” he said.

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