Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, who showed up outside a St Petersburg art gallery that was hosting a Pride festival launch, denies that there's violence against LGBT people in an interview with a France24 journalist, BuzzFeed reports.
When reporter Julien Pain approached Milonov to ask why he was outside QueerFest, the St Petersburg deputy replied that "it smells worse here."
Asked what he meant by that, Milonov said, "We are looking how European countries' officials support those who rape kids, support sodomists."
Apart from a number of the city’s civil and human rights organizations, representatives from European and US diplomatic missions attended the QueerFest launch at Nesuschestvuyuschij Etazh (The Non-Existent Floor) Sept 19.
In the video clip, Milonov told Pain, "I think it would be nice for the Dutch people to know that the representative of the Dutch government is supporting those who are against Christians. He fights Christian church."
He says stories of violence against gay people are "fake information" and "not true" and claimed that gay people perpetrate violence against straight people.
In a second video clip, Milonov refers to the anti-gay-marriage protests in France and asks Pain, "as a French representative," about the beating of "peaceful citizens."
Pain told Milonov that the French protesters were violent themselves, but Milonov accused him of lying, saying that gay marriage opponents were attacked by "French SS police."
Milonov added, "[President François] Hollande is fighting Christian values. I believe the majority of French people, they do believe in God, and they would throw Hollande away in next elections, because they would like to have a classical French France — uh, Christian France."
According to QueerFest organizers, Milonov and a group of five or six people reportedly called festival attendees “un-Russian,” “faggots” and “animals” as they entered the gallery. Organizers also alleged that Milonov and his group physically attacked one participant, who was hit in the face, but reported no major injuries. Police arrived on the scene but found no cause for action and left.