Vitaly Milonov, the Russian lawmaker arguably responsible for largely influencing the institutionalized homophobia thriving in Russia, claimed late last week that gays "rape kids" and that the violence experienced by gay people is "fake information."
French journalist Julien Pain ran into Milonov outside of Russia's Queer Fest Film Festival. The Russian lawmaker explained he was at the festival "looking [at] how European country officials support those who rape kids."
Milonov was also reportedly attempting to shut down the festival.
In response to Pain questioning Milonov about the documented violence against LGBT individuals in Russia circulating on the Internet, Milonov responded, "Oh no no no, it’s a fake, it’s a fake information... Oh, oh it’s a foolish story. It’s not true... It’s not true. I think that much violence goes from gay people to straight people. Much more violence."
The law has been used as justification for extreme violence against LGBT citizens by both those in positions of power and their fellow citizens. The legislation, coupled with a newly proposed bill that would remove the children of LGBT parents from their homes, has created a nation-wide culture of fear and violence for LGBT Russians.
Additionally, he has spearheaded an anti-LGBT campaign targeting Western performers, having accused Lady Gaga and Madonna of not only violating their visas while touring Russia but also of simultaneously violating the country's anti-gay "propaganda" law.
The full ramifications of Russia's anti-LGBT legislation on the 2014 Sochi Olympics have yet to be clearly determined.