Gay Russians call for Sochi Winter Olympics boycott

LGBT people are being told it is 'unsafe' to travel to Sochi if the Senate passes the 'homosexual propaganda' law, making homophobia legal

Gay Russians call for Sochi Winter Olympics boycott
18 June 2013

Gay rights activists from Russia are calling for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The RUSA LGBT organization based in New York have said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not safe in Russia, and are hoping straight people too will support the ban.

It follows after Gay Star News revealed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said they would support gay athletes and spectators during the Sochi Olympics.

‘LGBT people in Russia are scared, they live in fear, and we want people to be aware of the issue. If they feel strongly about human rights they should boycott the Olympics in Sochi,’ Nina Long, co-president of RUSA told RIA-Novosti.

‘We really want the LGBT community to know it’s unsafe to travel there.’

An IOC spokesman told GSN they were ‘concerned’ about Russia’s nationwide gay propaganda bill, if it passes in the Senate.

‘The IOC would like to reiterate our long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games,’ they said.

‘The IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.’

Long said: ‘[The IOC] have to put up the statement like that, otherwise it’s an international scandal, but it’s a lie…it’s just to make it hush-hush and nice on some international level.’

GSN reader Boleslav Boleslavovich Stoll agreed, saying: ‘Writing this from Russia, PLEASE BOYCOTT THE OLYMPICS and spread the word about the boycott. We can only rely on word of mouth these days.’

Under the ‘non-traditional relationships’ propaganda law, which was passed in Russia’s lower house last week, any gay rights organization could be fined up to one million rubles ($30.8k, €23.2k)

Individuals found to be ‘promoting homosexuality’ will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($166, €124)

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