Russian President Vladimir Putin has
pledged to make gay and lesbian athletes and guests attending the
Winter Olympics in Sochi “feel comfortable.”
It is the latest promise from Putin
since he signed a law in June that prohibits the promotion of “gay
propaganda” to minors, effectively outlawing Gay Pride marches and
similar demonstrations of support. The law's passage has provoked
worldwide condemnation and calls for boycotts against Russian-made
exports and international events taking place in Russia, including
the Sochi Games, which are less than four months away.
“We will do everything to make sure
that athletes, fans, and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games
regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin
is quoted as saying in Sochi by Radio
Free Europe. The remarks were made to Russian sports officials
in the presence of Thomas Bach, president of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC).
Putin earlier stated that he does not
believe that the law discriminates against LGBT people.
Putin says anti-gay law isn't discrimination, and gays can't