Johnny Weir, Megan Rapinoe and Blake
Skjellerup are among the out Olympians speaking out about Russia's
proposed law which would outlaw gay “propaganda.”
The measure is modeled after a law
which took effect last year in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg's law
criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty,
lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” It also
bans public events that promote gay rights, such as Gay Pride parades
and gay rights demonstrations.
If approved, the law could present
complications for openly gay athletes competing in next year's Winter
Olympics to be held in Sochi.
“I don't want to have to tone myself
down about who I am,” Skjellerup told USA
Today. “That wasn't very fun and there's no way I'm going
back in the closet. I just want to be myself and I hate to think
that being myself would get me in trouble.”
Weir, who is married to a Russian and
says he loves the country, advised out athletes attending the Winter
Olympics to censor themselves.
“My advice would be: Watch what you
do when you leave the Village, don't be aggressive, don't wear a big
rainbow flag fur coat. If you don't call attention to yourself,
attention won't come to you.”
Rapinoe had harsher words, calling the
policy already in place in several cities “outrageous.”
“What year are we in? People are
still being arrested for saying it's OK to be gay? What is the IOC
[International Olympic Committee] or major sponsors doing, if
The answer, USA Today concluded,
is not much.