Putin defends Russia’s anti-gay laws in annual state of the nation speech

BY newsdesk  December 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM EST

Russian President Vladimir Putin Delivers Annual Speech

Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

In his state of nation speech on Thursday, Putin defended his commitment to conservative values and the passage of anti-gay laws, which have put the country under scrutiny and criticism by the West.

“This destruction of traditional values from above not only entails negative consequences for society,” Putin said in his 70-minute televised speech, “but is also inherently anti-democratic because it is based on an abstract notion and runs counter to the will of the majority of people.”

The Russian president signed a measure in June that banned public expression of homosexual identity and affection, which supporters claimed was put into law in order to protect young people. The Kremlin also has prohibited gay or lesbian foreigners from adopting Russian children.

Watch PBS NewsHour’s analysis of Russia’s recent anti-gay laws, as the nation gears up to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.