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Russian government says it will not discriminate at Olympics, defends anti-gay law

Aug 22, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT

Vladimir Putin AP

The International Olympic Committee received a letter from the Russian government on Thursday saying visitors at the Sochi Olympics will be welcome regardless of sexual orientation and at the same time defending the country’s new law.

“The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak wrote.

Kozak defended a law passed in June banning the “propagandizing” of nontraditional sexual relations toward minors in Russia.

The law “cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation,” as it applies to everybody, Kozak wrote, according to The Associated Press.

The IOC said two weeks ago it needed clarification on Russia’s law, citing a translation issue.

“We have today received strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the Games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation,” IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a statement Thursday.

Kozak added this in the letter, according to Reuters:

“In particular, legislation of the Russian Federation does not stipulate any restrictions or differentiation of the rights and responsibilities of citizens on the basis of sexual orientation.

“Discrimination against sexual minorities, just as any other discrimination, is expressly forbidden by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.”

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  1. drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Explain, then, why you allow police and citizens to discriminate against them, sometimes violently, without repercussion?

    • cardsandbluesforever - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      probably because the gay culture is extremely taboo over there, and most of the population is highly against it and any displays of homosexuality. people seem to forget that the culture is very different in other parts of the world- what may be common and acceptable in one country may be very unacceptable and illegal in another.

      athletes coming to the winter Olympics are guests of the Russian federation, they need to respect and abide by the laws and customs while there. if they don’t like that then they shouldn’t go.

      • drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        Sure. I’m just saying that Kozak sounds like he’s full of it here.

  2. nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I see 2 possibilities about Russia’s new “propaganda” law they say aims to protect children.
    1) Either the Russian leaders are profoundly ignorant about sexual orientation and actually believe the old myth that gay adults must “recruit” youngsters into homosexuality and wish to prevent that which doesn’t actually happen.
    Or, 2) More insidiously, they do understand people are born with their eventual sexual orientation and they cruelly aim to prevent gay youngsters from getting the information they need to help them accept themselves and become healthy adults.
    Neither of these is a good thing. And just as the Russians were very critical of US racial segregation in the 1930s, we in the West owe Russian minorities now our support.

    • lintporter - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      … children “getting the information they need” from who? Adult strangers? Creepy! I think that’s what Russians and responsible parents everywhere wish to prevent.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Lint, the law is deliberately vague so as to prevent kids getting information from ANYONE, including well-informed doctors, teachers, even parents. But since you add below that you think homosexuality is a “perversity” I would not expect you to understand or care whether gay kids get potentially lifesaving information when they need it most.

      • lintporter - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Stop lying, nothanks. Nobody is getting between parents and their kids. I think most readers will cringe at this false notion of “gay kids” as if its some sort of established absolute for a developing pre-teen.

        They and I further cringe at your idea of allowing adult stranger perverse activists on the street to “counsel” isolated, troubled kids about their sexuality. We know the motivation there.

        Russia’s done the sane thing; and the US should learn from them.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Lint, sad to hear of your cringing. “False notion”? “Stranger perverse activists”? I don’t know what you think you know, but you clearly know very little about sexual orientation. Have you ever sat down and chatted with a gay person, and actually listened to them? I have 3 gay cousins, raised in different families, all normal families. All 3 are happily married; one’s a doctor married to another doctor. From young ages, all 3 knew they were different from what they saw in our culture. Could not relate to kids with opposite sex crushes. Had only same-sex crushes. None was guided or groomed or lured by any adults, ever. None chose to feel what they felt, any more than I chose to be straight. You don’t have to like that the world is round, but that doesn’t make it square. Our orientation does seems to be established prior to birth, probably the result of the complexities of the chemical/hormonal soup in which we gestate. And yes, kids, especially teens, who realize they are different are entitled to honest, factual information about their orientation to help them understand why they feel as they do, that they are NOT perverse but they have a natural variation of human sexuality, one that has existed in every culture since humans began developing many many thousands of years ago, and will always be with us. And the US will learn nothing from Russia or Kenya or Iran on human rights; those cultures will eventually learn from not just us, but from Canada, Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Uruguay, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, etc.

  3. lintporter - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    I’m with Russia on this one. They have the right to regulate their public square, and to keep perversity away from families and kids.

    I wish the US would do something similar.

    Athletes in Russia can simply be respectful of their host country’s culture, and there is no problem.

    • bmw102974 - Aug 22, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      While I’m not a fan of seeing 2 men kiss, it doesn’t offend me. I admit to being more turned on by 2 women though. It is your right to not like what you see. However, you might as well get used to it.

      If you want to keep this so-called “perversity” from kids, you might as well look at many more places than your bigoted views. TV, movies, music, THE INTERNET, public experiences in general, would you like me to continue? If you’re going to keep affection between 2 people(and yes, gays really are people too), then let’s ban any and all public displays of affection between people of any sexual orientation. Let’s just ban it outright to make sure we’re all equal on this……will that work?

      Just look the other way or get used to it. I decided to just not care as long as 2 people care about each other. Just doesn’t make a big deal to me anymore.

  4. Matthew - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    The more I read this, the more I get the feeling that the Russians never learned that eternal lesson about when you’re digging a hole, stop digging. Worse, the IOC seems to be all-but-complicit in Russia’s perfidity, which means the growing PR nightmare over this will only continue to build.

  5. dirtydrew - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Boycott this charade. They instituted these laws close to the games so no changes could be made without chaos. I mean, if the ice dancers and male figure skaters are not protected, how can we send anyone? More proof the Olympic committee is almost as corrupt as the NCAA.

  6. dirtydrew - Aug 25, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    lintporter |
    Stop lying, nothanks. Nobody is getting between parents and their kids. I think most readers will cringe at this false notion of “gay kids” as if its some sort of established absolute for a developing pre-teen.

    They and I further cringe at your idea of allowing adult stranger perverse activists on the street to “counsel” isolated, troubled kids about their sexuality. We know the motivation there.

    Russia’s done the sane thing; and the US should learn from them.
    ——-––——————————————————————–
    And Lintporter…your views show your not more than 2 generations from the cave and probably live in a trailer park. No one would choose to be gay. And if your a small government conservative, which most anti gay religious people are, how can you want government controlling your personal life? Hypocrite. And why are you siding with the communists? Why do you hate America?

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