Speaking at a press conference held on the final day of the
athletics world championships in Moscow, Vitaly Mutko, Russia's
sports minister, likened being gay to drug abuse.
Mutko told reporters on Sunday that a recently approved law that
prohibits “gay propaganda” to minors would not infringe on the
private lives of athletes and spectators attending next year's Winter
Olympics in Sochi.
According to the AP, however, Mutko's comments strongly suggested
that the law would be enforced during the event and that he appeared
to liken the relationships of gay couples to substance abuse.
“We want to protect our children whose psyches have not formed
from the propaganda of drug use, drunkenness and non-traditional
sexual relations,” he said.
“I can say once again that the freedoms of Russian and foreign
athletes and guests who come to Sochi will be absolutely protected.”
Russian officials have made similar comments in the past, drawing
a line between a ban on gay sex, which is legal in Russia, and a ban
on public discussion of homosexuality or what the law calls
“In my view, Western media, media outside Russia, give more
attention to this than we do in Russia,” Mutko added.