Of course, in this instance, he’s talking about Russia and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. The country’s sports minister reneged on their promise to welcome gay athletes and fans and is vowing to enforce the ridiculous law that outlaws “gay propaganda”. Most. un-fun. (And terrifying.) Winter. Olympics. Ever.
“I think Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work and they understand that most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently,” Obama said.
Here’s more of what he had to say about the situation:
“I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in a way that intimidate them or are harmful to them,” Obama responded [to Leno], while stressing that “Russia is not unique,” and noting he’s had to balance his pressure over laws like these within larger relationships with several African nations as well. Obama told Leno he believed that the laws would not be an issue by the time the Winter Olympics start in Sochi next year, and urged Russia to ensure the games remain about the performances of the athletes, not about their sexual orientation. He said he believed that there is enough riding on the games to make that happen.