Russian officials made clear Monday that they have no plans to suspend their anti-gay propaganda laws for the duration of the Olympics when they are held in Sochi in February 2014.
The International Olympic Committee had asked for written clarification on the law and how it might impact athletes and spectators during the Olympics.
Russia’s Interior Ministry, which controls the police force, said in a statement: ‘The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully.’
The statement continued: Any discussion on violating the rights of representatives of nontraditional sexual orientations, stopping them from taking part in the Olympic Games or discrimination of athletes and guests of the Olympics according to their sexual orientation is totally unfounded and contrived.’
Russia’s controversial law allows police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian, or ‘pro-gay’ and detaining them for up to 14 days.
‘If a person does not put across his views in the presence of children, no measures against him can be taken,’ said Alexander Zhukov, head of Russia’s National Olympic Committee. ‘People of nontraditional sexual orientations can take part in the competitions and all other events at the Games unhindered, without any fear for their safety whatsoever.’
IOC told GSN in an interview earlier today that it would not just be Russia who would frown on anyone who tries to show any kind of LGBT solidarity during the Olympics such as wearing a rainbow pin.
The IOC says it still supports gays and lesbians being allowed to compete, but won’t let them use the Olympics as a platform to highlight Russia’s anti-LGBT human rights abuses.