Russia's Interior Ministry, which controls the police force, on
Monday said that a controversial anti-gay law would be in effect
during the Winter Olympics to be held next year in Sochi.
The law recently signed by President Vladimir Putin prohibits the
positive portrayal of gay men and lesbians in a public setting where
minors might be present. It has created a worldwide outcry, calls
for a boycott of next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, and has
increased tension between the United States and Russia.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously said that
it has assurances from Russian officials that the law would not be
enforced during the Winter Olympics.
“The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who
harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such
acts [to promote gay rights to minors], do not conduct any kind of
provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully,” the Interior
Ministry is quoted as saying by RiaNovosti.
“Any discussion on violating the rights of representatives of
nontraditional sexual orientations, stopping them from taking part in
the Olympic Games or discrimination of athletes and guests of the
Olympics according to their sexual orientation is totally unfounded
and contrived,” the statement added.
The IOC said last week that it would ask Russia for a clear
definition of “gay propaganda.”