Olympic Committee Says LGBT Olympians Will Not Be Targeted Under Russian Anti-Gay Bill

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) is attempting to quell fears tha the "homosexual propaganda" law recently passed by the Russian State Duma will be used to target LGBT Olympians at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Gay Star News reports:

Weir"Under the new 'homosexual propaganda' law, tourists deemed to be 'promoting homosexuality' could be arrested and deported. Speaking to Gay Star News, an IOC spokesman said they were 'concerned' about the bill becoming law.

'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 atheletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.'


  1. daws says

    How can the IOC prevent that, though? Seems like Russian officials/gov’t would have to make a statement promising that Olympic athletes will have amnesty. Or maybe that’s already baked into agreeing to host an Olympics.

    And what about the millions of tourists that will pour into Russia? Seems really scary.

  2. Will says

    Actually they said no such thing. They said “‘The IOC is an open organization and atheletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.’

    They said nothing of protecting them.

    And what about foreign spectator’s? And the money that Russia will make hosting the Olympics’ which will go into their homophobic government coffers.

    Get ready Winter Games 2018 in Uganda

  3. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “The IOC is an open organization and atheletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games”.

    Then they should skip Russia and have an alternate Olympics somewhere else. And never consider Russia again as an Olympics host.

  4. jed says

    oh, the athletes are fine but the lgbt citizens in the host country can just go f**k themselves? not good enough IOC. this is like the berlin games all over again.

  5. TonyJazz says

    Why is the Russian government so backward and corrupted?

    It’s a shame, as it reflects poorly on the Russian people….. The Olympic committee for site selection should have done a better job.

  6. Bryan says

    This would be a good time for an open debate about the ethical obligations of LGBTQ Olympic athletes, but also to condemn the people who chose a host country that denies a minority basic human rights.

    Who would have tolerated apartheid South Africa hosting the Olympic Games?

  7. terry says

    This will be Johnny’s last Olympics and he is not responsible for Russian law so lay off the guy. Putin will leave the athletes alone but any guy watching the figure skating unescorted by a woman will probably be followed home. Yes Russia should be isolated but as with Carter and the Moscow Olympics a boycott only robs the athletes of 4 years or more of hard work and dreams.

  8. says

    The IOC can’t guarantee anything. They need to move the games if the Russians don’t repeal the law. Promises mean nothing, especially from the Russian government. (Personally I don’t think we should trust any government with something like this.)

  9. AngelaChanning says

    Perhaps authorities won’t arrest an LGBTQ athlete but what about protecting them from the crazy hateful people even within Olympic venues? Probably very western Olympic organization is going to tell their athletes to not self identify. Don’t expect any momentum from the IOC to pressure Russia or move the games. When our voices are aired, be prepared to be treated like the crazy aunt in the attic.

  10. Hue-Man says

    Let’s hope LGBT athletes, support teams, and fans get out of their Russian gulags before 2022. It would be awful for them to miss the Soccer World Cup in Doha, Qatar! Are we sure the TeaParty/GOP gay-hating wingnuts haven’t taken over both the IOC and FIFA?

  11. jason says

    We need to think about our Russian brothers and sisters who will be oppressed by this law, and not just these elitist Olympic athletes who will be flown in for 2 weeks and then flown out. This law is a permanent threat to gay people in Russia.

  12. Kevin says

    Boycott is one option, sure, especially if the safety of athletes and fans is a concern. The IOC and Russia will need a better guarantee of safety. But think about the impact of bringing an international event to a place like Sochi, Russia or Doha, Qatar. Bringing diversity has the chance to change hearts and minds in a place that is insular. Aung San Suu Kyi said to boycott Burma for decades, but eventually came to struggle with that decision; she changed her position in the past few years and has said the tourism boycott hurts not just the Myanmar Junta, but it hurts the Burmese people by denying influence from the outside world. I’m not saying it is the exact same thing or that we should reward these bigoted governments with millions (billions?) of tourist dollars, but we should think about the positive impact of bringing an event like this to those places.

  13. JD says

    The safe thing would be to pull the Olympics out of Russia or not have LGBT people attend. It is apparent that Russia has no interests in stopping violence against LGBT people; if LGBT people do attend they will be forced to stay inside the Olympic compound at all times, and even then I worry for their safety,

  14. walter says

    why do these organizers like the olympics and the world cup pick places where gay athletes and spectators wont’t feel safe . these people rely need to look at the total package .

  15. says

    This is a very unfortunate turn of events. How the country was vetted by the committee should be looked at and how the IOC intends to protect their athletes once there should be made a priority. How about the gay Russian athletes who will not be able to partake of the comfort and support in any of the Olympic Pride Houses? Who will protect them? It has been suggested that Pride House will rotate from country to country within the Olympic venue. I imagine any Russian seen in one of those will have hell to pay afterwards. It’s all too sickening. At the very least a conversation has begun. Maybe the international community can shame Russia on its unbelievably horrendous and backward legislation.

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