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Gay Athletes Could Be Prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian Lawmaker Suggests

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:01 PM
  • 51 Replies

Gay Athletes Could Be Prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian Lawmaker Suggests

MOSCOW -- In Russia it is now illegal to even speak about homosexuality around minors, much less openly display gay pride. Technically the ban is against "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" around minors, but the implication for openly gay individuals is clear. Public displays of affection by gays, including holding hands or displaying symbols like a rainbow flag, are now banned. Violators face steep fines and jail time; foreigners face similar penalties plus deportation.

So what will happen to openly gay athletes and fans, as well as any vocal supporters or protestors, when Russia hosts the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi?

This week, comments by a lawmaker from St. Petersburg set off a firestorm online when he said that fans and athletes would not be immune from prosecution during the games.

Vitaly Milonov, who sponsored legislation in St. Petersburg last year that became the basis for a national law signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, was quoted telling the Interfax news agency that the law will remain in place during the Olympics and will be applied to foreigners.

"If a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn't have the authority," he reportedly said, stressing that he has not heard anything different from Russian officials.

It is worth noting, however, that Milonov is only a regional lawmaker and is not a member of the federal government or the national legislature. But he has been on the forefront of Russia's war against homosexuality. Last summer hethreatened to fine pop star Madonna for violating the law after she spoke out against it from the stage during a concert in St. Petersburg.

The International Olympic Committee appears only cautiously optimistic that the games will be safe for gay athletes and fans, noting that it has sought assurances from Russian authorities.

"This legislation has just been passed into law and it remains to be seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the Games in Sochi," the IOC said in an emailed statement to ABC News.

"The IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games," the statement continued.

The IOC said it continues to urge that the games "take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media."

The committee recently sent a letter to American athletes warning them about the law, but stressing, "We do not know how and to what extent they will be enforced during the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The USOC says they are doing what they can to ensure the safety of all Americans at the Games.

"We are aware of these laws and are engaged in active discussions with the International Olympic Committee and the US State Department about how we can ensure that every American in Sochi, especially our athletes, are safe and secure," the letter continues.

At least one athlete, openly gay New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup, has already pledged to wear a rainbow pin during the games.

read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/russian-lawmaker-suggests-gay-athletes-prosecuted-2014-winter/story?id=19829868&page=2

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Aestas
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM
8 moms liked this

So why is Russia still being allowed to hold the games? The event should be moved to a country where it's safe for all athletes and fans to be there without having their human rights violated.

Healthystart30
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM
2 moms liked this
And this is a good reason to boycott the games! They seriously need to stop letting countries that don't care about it's citizens hold these games that are supposed to be about peace and unity! China and Russia are not good countries for either one!
TCgirlatheart
by TC on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:14 PM
Wow. Just so much vileness.

I'm getting closer to liking the idea of boycotting these Olympics, just because it doesn't sound safe at all. Certainly, as just a spectator, I would not be giving my money to Russia.
I am not completely on board, only because I know this would be the one opportunity for some athletes to achieve their Olympic dreams.
Such a sad situation.
SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I had read somewhere and I am NOT saying that this is true but when Russia was threatened with the Idea of being Protested they said that NONE of the Gay and Lesbian athletes will not be persecuted under the law...

SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:21 PM

The only Problem with protesting is it doesn't hurt just Russia but all the Young Athletes who worked their butts off to get there.. I am all for boycotting the Olympics but not at the cost of our Athletes

Quoting TCgirlatheart:

Wow. Just so much vileness.

I'm getting closer to liking the idea of boycotting these Olympics, just because it doesn't sound safe at all. Certainly, as just a spectator, I would not be giving my money to Russia.
I am not completely on board, only because I know this would be the one opportunity for some athletes to achieve their Olympic dreams.
Such a sad situation.


"There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few... Who possess, the predisposition... I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death." —Professor Snape


stormcris
by Christy on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:22 PM

This lawyer is a severe homophob and they government said this will not apply.


katy_kay08
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:23 PM

One Russian lawmaker has gone on recorded saying that is not assured.  I think Russia needs to get their ducks in a row so this ambiguity is cleared up.  

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/31/russian-official-anti-lgbt-laws-will-apply-to-olympic-athletes-and-guests/

Milonov said that he didn’t know where the person making the statement got the authority to flout national law. Nor, he said, should athletes expect to be able to openly express their sexuality if it deviates from what Russia has deemed to be the “traditional,” i.e., heterosexual model...

...When the Echo correspondent asked Milanov about the possibility of LGBT tourists at the games, he replied, “Are we saying that some people can seduce children and some can not? I think that no one should seduce children. Therefore, the law can not be overruled by government decree. Federal law applies to the whole territory of the Russian Federation, and nobody has the right to suspend it.”

Milanov went on to say that while the government may say it’s fine for LGBT athletes to compete, “It will not be so fine.” Only if the athlete is “normal,” he said, should they be allowed to participate in the Olympic games. LGBT athletes, he said, are not strong because their orientation excuses their weakness. “I am running bad,” he claimed the athletes will say, “because I am not a man and not a woman.”

Quoting SilverSterling:

I had read somewhere and I am NOT saying that this is true but when Russia was threatened with the Idea of being Protested they said that NONE of the Gay and Lesbian athletes will not be persecuted under the law...


SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I think that we need to pull the Olympics and put somewhere else I think we have enough time and resources to find a place were Everyone can be comfortable and not fear for their lives if they attend.

SilverSterling
by MrsSilverusSnape on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Thank you for the information like I said I wasnt standing by what I said kwim...

Quoting katy_kay08:

One Russian lawmaker has gone on recorded saying that is not assured.  I think Russia needs to get their ducks in a row so this ambiguity is cleared up.  

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/31/russian-official-anti-lgbt-laws-will-apply-to-olympic-athletes-and-guests/

Milonov said that he didn’t know where the person making the statement got the authority to flout national law. Nor, he said, should athletes expect to be able to openly express their sexuality if it deviates from what Russia has deemed to be the “traditional,” i.e., heterosexual model...

...When the Echo correspondent asked Milanov about the possibility of LGBT tourists at the games, he replied, “Are we saying that some people can seduce children and some can not? I think that no one should seduce children. Therefore, the law can not be overruled by government decree. Federal law applies to the whole territory of the Russian Federation, and nobody has the right to suspend it.”

Milanov went on to say that while the government may say it’s fine for LGBT athletes to compete, “It will not be so fine.” Only if the athlete is “normal,” he said, should they be allowed to participate in the Olympic games. LGBT athletes, he said, are not strong because their orientation excuses their weakness. “I am running bad,” he claimed the athletes will say, “because I am not a man and not a woman.”

Quoting SilverSterling:

I had read somewhere and I am NOT saying that this is true but when Russia was threatened with the Idea of being Protested they said that NONE of the Gay and Lesbian athletes will not be persecuted under the law...



"There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few... Who possess, the predisposition... I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death." —Professor Snape


annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

This law is  f...embarrassment  

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