August 7, 2013

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

Speaking to “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, the president was asked by the host about recent legislation in Russia that cracks down on gay rights.

“Do you think it will affect the Olympics?” Leno asked the President, whose own views on the subject have evolved in the course of his presidency. Russia is slated to host the Winter Olympics in 2014, in the city of Sochi.

Obama was adamant. “Every judgment should be made on the track, or in the swimming pool, or on the balance beam, and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it.”

He also noted Russia’s eagerness for a successful Olympic games, saying "I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn't tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently.”