One of the authors of Russia‘s anti-gay laws says they cannot be paused or ignored by Russian authorities for visitors or Olympians at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Lawmaker and co-sponsor of the nationwide anti-gay law, Vitaly Milonov, says the government does not have the right to not enforce its laws, and says they will remain in effect in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics.
“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,” Gay Star News reports today, adding that “Milonov was the deputy responsible for the law prohibiting ‘gay propaganda’ in St Petersburg, beginning the trend that led to the nationwide ban.”
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin last month signed a law that makes it illegal to tell children gay people exist, makes it illegal to indicate support for LGBT people or approval of homosexuality, and demands fines and/or deportation for foreigners who violate the law. Putin’s new “homosexual propaganda” law makes “promoting homosexuality” illegal.
Two men or two women just holding hands is now illegal in Russia. Clicking “like” on a photo of a same-sex couple holding hands is now illegal in Russia. Doing anything to offer support for LGBT is now illegal in Russia.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has billions riding on the Russian Olympics, has promised Olympic athletes and foreigners visiting Sochi they will not be subject to the anti-gay laws.
“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,” USA Today reported on Friday:
“As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media.”
“The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle.”
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