Vladimir Putin has said he would “prefer not to shower” in the vicinity of a gay man.
The Russian president, who signed anti-gay legislation banning the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality to minors in to law in 2013, reportedly makes the comments in Showtime’s upcoming four-part series The Putin Interviews, which sees him engage in a series of conversations with Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone.
According the The Daily Beast, which got an early look at the series, one scene sees Stone and Putin discuss whether or not gay men should be allowed to serve in Russia’s military, leading Stone to ask Putin if he’d take a shower in a submarine with a gay man.
“Well, I prefer not to go to shower with him,” Putin is said to reply, adding: Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master and a SAMBO master as well.”
The politician, who was challenged over his country’s record on LGBT rights by newly-elect French president Emmanuel Macron during the pair’s first meeting last month, continues: “And I can tell you this, that as head of state today, I believe it’s my duty to uphold traditional values and family values.
“But why? Because same-sex marriages will not produce any children. God has decided, and we have to care about birth rates in our country. We have to reinforce families.
“But that doesn’t mean that there should be any persecutions against anyone.”