Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has said gay Olympians and fans will be safe at Sochi but added ‘Please do not touch kids.’
The homophobic outburst came this morning (6 February) as the country makes its final preparations for the Winter Olympics which start tomorrow.
He was referring to Russia’s legislation which bans gay ‘propaganda’ to minors and which has been used to crackdown on LGBTI people and dissent in general, leading to further violence against them.
Despite the laws and the state’s support for the Orthodox Church, Kozak claimed to reporters in Sochi that Russia does not ‘differentiate between people depending on their religion or their sexual orientation,’ reports NBC News.
He added: ‘We are all grownups, and any adult has his or her right to understand their sexual activity. Please do not touch kids. That’s the only thing.
‘During the opening ceremony, during the closing ceremony, during the sports events, I hope that we will not see such problems.’
His remarks were made in Russian and translated simultaneously.