- Jun 11, 2009
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
MOSCOW — Russia’s minister of sports, Vitaly L. Mutko, said on Thursday that foreign athletes traveling to Russia for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi would be expected to obey a new Russian law banning “homosexual propaganda” or face criminal prosecution.
In comments made to the state news agency R-Sport, Mutko said that gay athletes were welcome to attend the Games, but insisted that under the new law no athlete or visitor could advocate a “nontraditional” sexual orientation.
The statement seemed sure to stoke criticism of the law, which has already become a point of contention for the Games, with some calls for a boycott. Legislation and statements by the Russian Orthodox Church and political officials about the law have been denounced as homophobic.
“No one is forbidding a sportsman with a nontraditional sexual orientation to come to Sochi,” Mutko said. “But if he goes out on the street and starts to propagandize it, then of course he will be held accountable. Even if he’s a sportsman, when he comes to a country, he should respect its laws.”
A little reminder of how wonderful that 1st Amendment is when it comes to the US. It is a pity they don't have something similar in Russia.
If I had the opportunity I would be advocating for gay rights until they locked me up in Russia. The way the law is written, a same sex couple holding hands in public is considered "homosexual propaganda" and could face criminal prosecution. That is how a lot of the religious right in our country would like to have it.