Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday declared that Russia’s anti-gay law will be enforced at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“The law talks not about banning non-traditional orientation but about other things, about propaganda and implicating minors,” Mutko reportedly told R-Sport news agency.
“No one is banning an athlete with a non-traditional sexual orientation from going to Sochi. But if he goes out onto the street and starts to make propaganda, then, of course, he will be brought to responsibility,” he added.
Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, signed last month by President Vladimir Putin, prohibits the public promotion of gay rights in a venue where minors might be present.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously said that it has assurances from Russian officials that the law would not be in effect during the Winter Olympics.
Mutko is the second official to contradict the IOC’s claims. Vitaly Milonov, author of a similar law in St. Petersburg, said earlier that the government cannot selectively enforce the law.
“With this latest development, one wonders which Russian authorities the IOC is speaking to,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz said in a statement. “Within the past two days, two Russian officials have gone out of their way to contradict the IOC in no uncertain terms. The opinion of the Russian government is now perfectly clear: If you’re gay and you come to Russia for the Olympics, you may be imprisoned and deported.”
“These laws are an abomination and pose a human rights imperative for all to speak out,” he added.
by On Top Magazine Staff
Source – On Top Magazine