Will Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws Ruin 2014 Winter Olympics?
For all the strides gay athletes have made – see Jason Collins – not everyone is ready to embrace them.
Russia, which is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, has enacted a ‘gay propaganda’ law that could have a serious impact on next year’s Games. Why? Well, it seems the politician behind the measure is insistent that any gay athlete or tourist who comes to the city for the Olympics could be held for two weeks before being booted out of the country.
The bill’s sponsor, Vitaly Milonov, said the law will be in full effect when the Olympics take place:
I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law. And 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."
However, the International Olympic Committee released a statement saying Russia had pledged not to enforce the law:
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.
There are still several months for this issue to fully unfold, but the matter has already been met with cries for the US and sponsors to ban the Games.