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Putin says no discrimination of gays in Russia

BY LYNN BERRY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

VALDAI, Russia -- President Vladimir Putin denied Thursday that gays face discrimination in Russia, saying that a new law that has drawn protests worldwide does not infringe on their rights.

Putin on Thursday maintained that the law bans only "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors." He argued that it is "no infringement on the rights of sexual minorities" and insisted that European laws allowing gay marriage contribute to population declines.

The Russian law has prompted calls for boycotts of the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in Sochi.

Putin said while some European nations have allowed gay marriages, "the Europeans are dying out ... and gay marriages don't produce children.

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