Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday told visiting
athletes to “relax” about his country's law which prohibits “gay
Reuters reported that Mutko was asked how the legislation would
affect athletes competing in this weekend's IAAF championships and
next year's winter Olympics to be held in Sochi.
“I want to ask you to calm down as in addition to this law we
have a constitution that guarantees all citizens a private life,”
told reporters in Moscow.
“It is not intended to deprive people of any religion, race or
sexual orientation but to ban the promotion of non-traditional
relations among the young generation.”
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, effectively outlawing everything
from Gay Pride marches to the wearing of a rainbow pin in public.
“All the athletes and organizations should be relaxed, their
rights will be protected,” he said.
Mutko, however, made headlines earlier when he said that the law
would be enforced at Sochi.
“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
Barack Obama is among the leaders who have criticized the law.
Fry calls for Russian Olympic ban over anti-gay laws.)