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Putin: Gay people safe in Sochi, but must 'leave kids alone'

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

Vladimir Putin spoke with Sochi volunteers Friday.
Vladimir Putin spoke with Sochi volunteers Friday. (Getty Images)

Russia's law banning the dissemination of homosexual propoganda to children has been under a microscope for the last several months, and President Vladimir Putin tried to put any concerns to rest Friday.

Speaking to volunteers, Putin attempted to offer some peace of mind to homosexuals visiting Sochi -- as well as some advice.

"One can feel calm and at ease," he said while speaking with Olympic volunteers Friday, according to the Washington Post. "Just leave kids alone, please."

There has been concern for months regarding Russia's treatment of homosexuals due to an anti-propoganda law and how it would affect both visitors and competitors alike. The law in question deals primarily with the distribution of homosexual propoganda to children -- including events such as gay pride parades -- and Russia plans to enforce it during the games in February.

Putin went on to try to explain the reasoning behind the law, as well as demonstrate that Russia is on par with other countries with regards to their treatment of homosexuals.

"We have no ban on the nontraditional forms of sexual intercourse among people.," he said. "We have the ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia. I want to stress this: propaganda among minors. These are two absolutely different things: a ban on certain relations or the propaganda of such relations.

"We have our own traditions, our own culture, we treat all our partners with respect and ask for our traditions and our culture to be treated with respect as well."

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