Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, plans to introduce a
resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to
condemn an anti-gay law recently approved in Russia ahead of the
Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi early next year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in June signed a law that
prohibits the public promotion of gay rights. The nation's “gay
propaganda” law prohibits the positive portrayal of gay men and
lesbians in a venue where minors might be present, effectively
outlawing everything from Gay Pride marches to the simple act of
wearing a rainbow pride pin in public.
Despite assurances from IOC officials that the law would not be in
effect during the Winter Olympics, two Russian officials this past
week said that it would.
Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the law would be enforced during
the Sochi Games and St.
Petersburg Deputy Vitaly Milonov said that the government cannot
selectively enforce the law. A
third official, Igor Ananskikh, the head of the Russian Duma
Committee on sports, said that the government would yield and do the
“politically correct” thing.
to BuzzFeed.com, Merkley will introduce the resolution when the
Senate returns from its August recess.
“With increasing attention being paid to Russian's deplorable
treatment of LGBT people, we applaud Senator Merkley and efforts in
Congress to shine a spotlight on this issue and the cloud that hangs
over the Sochi Olympic Games,” Human Rights Campaign spokesman
Michael Cole-Schwartz said.