JFK and Natural Born Killers director Oliver Stone has appeared to support Russia’s so-called ban on “gay propaganda” in a newly released interview.
Stone interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in late June, but the transcript has only been released by the Russian Government now.
In the interview, Stone criticises the culture of young Americans, telling Putin, “Young people … are spoiled to some degree in the Western world.”
“It’s very strange right now … I’ve been [a] rebel all my life. Still am,” he continues.
“And I have to tell you, 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 [is] 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’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 corrects Stone, saying, “It 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.”
However, in practice Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda to minors” outlaws any discussion of LGBTQI issues in any medium or space where it could be seen or heard by children, effectively banning positive public expressions of LGBTQI identity.
Introduced in 2013, the law subjects Russian citizens to fines of up to 5,000 rubles and public officials to fines of up to 50,000 rubles if they are deemed to be promoting “non-traditional relationships.”
Organisations or businesses who breach the law can be fined up to one million rubles and can be forcibly closed for up to 90 days.
Foreigners can also be arrested and detained for up to 15 days before being deported, as well as being fined up to 100,000 rubles.
Russian citizens who use the internet or media to promote “non-traditional relations” can be fined up to 100,000 rubles.