The Russian government has defended an anti-gay law in a letter to
the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Russia's “gay propaganda” law prohibits the positive portrayal
of gay men and lesbian in a public venue where minors might be
present. Its has provoked calls for a boycott of next year's Winter
Olympics to be held in Sochi.
In his letter to the IOC, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry
Kozak gave assurances that Russia will comply fully with a provision
in the Olympic Charter against discrimination, the AP reported.
“The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its
obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its
entirety,” Kozak wrote.
However, Kozak went on to defend the law.
The law centers on the “restriction of information that promotes
non-traditional sexual orientations among children.”
“These legislations apply equally to all persons, irrespective
of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, and cannot be
regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation,” he said.
“These requirements do not attract any limitations for
participants and spectators of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on
their legal right of residence in the territory of the Russian
Federation or participation in any events stipulated in the Games
program that are contradictory to the Olympic Charter or universally
recognized standards of international law on human rights,” he
The letter was addressed to Jean Claude-Killy, head of the
coordination commission for the Sochi Games.