Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Thursday declared that
Russia's anti-gay law will be enforced at next year's Winter Olympics
“The law talks not about banning non-traditional orientation but
about other things, about propaganda and implicating minors,” Mutko
reportedly told R-Sport news agency.
“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
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.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously said that
it has assurances from Russian officials that the law would not be in
effect during the Winter Olympics.
Mutko is the second official to contradict the IOC's claims.
Vitaly Milonov, author of a similar law in St. Petersburg, said
earlier that the government cannot selectively enforce the law.
lawmaker says anti-gay law will be enforced at Winter Olympics.)
“With this latest development, one wonders which Russian
authorities the IOC is speaking to,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz said
in a statement. “Within the past two days, two Russian
officials have gone out of their way to contradict the IOC in no
uncertain terms. The opinion of the Russian government is now
perfectly clear: If you're gay and you come to Russia for the
Olympics, you may be imprisoned and deported.”
“These laws are an abomination and pose a human rights
imperative for all to speak out,” he added.
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