Russian Legislator Urges Putin To Enforce Gay Ban During The Olympics

Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov
At a legislative meeting in St. Petersburg, co-author of Russia's bill banning homosexuality Vitaly Valentinovich Milonov urged President Putin to not suspend the law during the Sochi Olympics, claiming that doing so would be "selective enforcement." This runs directly counter to the International Olympic Committe's assertions that athletes and spectators would be exempt from the gay ban law. According to Milonov,

[I]f a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn’t have the authority.

The timing of the gay ban is going to be problematic for Russia. If it makes an exemption for the spectators and athletes of the Olympics, it undermines the "necessity" of the law and implies that "corruption of children and traditional values" are sometimes ok. If the law is strictly enforced, then it's only a matter of when – not if – spectators and athletes are arrested and deported, which would spark resentments and even possibly incite an international incident.


  1. JamesInCA says

    I rather agree with this guy, for two reasons.

    1. How would it look to us in this country if the President suggested that a duly enacted law would just be ignored to suit a group of foreign visitors? Why would we expect Russia to ignore its own duly passed laws for the benefit of tourists?

    2. Russia should have to deal with the international consequences, such as they may be, of having these laws. They shouldn’t be afforded an easy “pass” by ignoring them when the foreigners are in town.

  2. Rafael says

    I fully agree, Russia should enforce its laws. As it should be isolated and singled out for those same laws. Putin can’t have a good relation with the modern world and get away with oppressing his own at the same time.

  3. Onnyjay says

    These nutjobs are begging saner nations to pull out of their woeful wasteland. Fine. No games are worth putting up with willful ignorance. Hasta la bye-bye, Vladsie and Vitalene, hope you choke on your damn laws.

  4. Moz's says

    Cathrine the great’s correspondences with Voltaire constantly bemoaned the backwardness of russia and that she was slowly step by single step bringing backwards russia into the modern era & limiting the power of the church by confiscating close to 3,000 monasteries and their treasures to pay for public schools etc

    that was back in the 18th century

    Russia has never been “enlightened” and its history has always been of a backwards country as compared to the rest of the modern world

  5. Caliban says

    If they DON’T enforce these laws it’s nothing but a public relations event for foreign visitors and journalists. Which is I expect exactly what Putin wants. “Homophobia? What homophobia?”

    Putin is well aware how bad it would look if an athlete or tourist was arrested during the Olympics so I doubt it will happen. Just as I’d bet the racial/religious laws in Germany were rescinded during the 1936 Olympics. It would be a shame to give people the RIGHT idea!

    If anything Putin is probably pissed at this guy for not going along with the dog-and-pony show.

  6. joel says

    It’s terrible for the athletes who have trained and worked for this opportunity most of their lives to perhaps be denied the chance to compete but what they have to realize is that basically the more modern and enlightened countries would be sending their citizens knowingly into harm’s way. It’s tragic and Putin and his ilk should be ashamed.

    I’m not up on Olympic rules but isn’t there some sort of understanding that to be a host country you must protect the participants of all countries while they are within your borders? I’m not saying they should be exempt from actual crimes like murder or rape but consensual behavior between adults is none of their business.

  7. Bucky says

    The thing that everyone assumes is that it is Sochi or nothing.

    But the globe is littered with Olympic sites and Olympic regulation places for every sport.

    We CAN just say to Russia, FU. The games –the athletic competition — can go forward in hundreds of different venues if that is what it takes.

    Yes, NBC won’t get it’s opening and closing ratings spectaculars. Boo-hoo.

    But break up the games. How many speed skaters are also competing in the luge? So splitting the games across venues around the world would be difficult, but not unthinkable. And think of the message — a truly GLOBAL Olympics.

    Send a message to Russia and the world that we will not tolerate hate.

    And all those Rubles Russia spent to build Sochi? Sorry. If those laws had been on the books when the decision was made, Sochi never would have been chosen.

    Just a thought.


  8. Eric says

    Forget the athletes, forget the sponsors, forget the networks, forget the governments, forget the money. Remember that no matter what happens regarding the Olympics, the most important thing are the LIVES of between 4 million and 14 million LGBT Russians. We’ve got six months to use the Olympics to make their lives better, and if we have to boycott the games, so be it.

  9. Michael says

    Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…. This is going to blow up in Russia’s face. I hope they maintain the ban and then be forced to deal with the entire world and not its poor uneducated easily oppressed people

  10. davey says

    moz is right… russia has been backward forever.

    we could always offer gay russians asylum but then we’d get a flood of russians gay and pretend gay desperate to get out of that place.

  11. gayalltheway says

    Woah! He has the balls to say that Putin’s government does not have the right and the authority to do something .. Putin is the law and Putin is the government. I guess someone just booked a suite at the Gulag.

  12. Agnes Maria says

    Why not focus on the Olympics as about the athletics. Forget the laws of the host nation, forget some of the far worse laws of the nations from which some of the athletes originate! There will be no problem if people do not attempt to use the event to demonstrate about an unrelated point. There is no reason to breech this law during the Olympics, and if you do then you are using the event for your own purposes.

  13. Liam says

    Agnes: People have a right to be gay if they are gay. They should not have to hide it an an international olympic event. This will come up and it should. Why even your pope says leave the gays alone.

  14. Topol says

    I totally support this guy’s call to Putin. Russia should fly its true colors and give the world a chance to react.

    Putin wants to cover up his country’s homophobia, and when he does that, other countries, including the United States, have an excuse to look the other way.

  15. Topol says

    @Joel who wrote: “I’m not saying they should be exempt from actual crimes like murder or rape but consensual behavior between adults is none of their business.”

    In Russia, consensual behavior between two gay adults IS a crime, like murder or rape.

  16. Sean Westmann says

    Agree with CodyJ: from picture, it appears that Vitaly Valentinovich is a religious zealot, one whose warped beliefs support the concept that religion (as practiced by such as he) does infinitely more harm than good. Let the world boycott the Russian Olympics and let Putin et al. suffer the economic and social consequences.

  17. Bill says

    @Marc C: under Russia’s new law, Johny Weir would be arrested for merely setting foot in that country, barring a major makeover and wardrobe change.

    Actually, I’m surprised that half of the Bolshoi Ballet is not in jail!

  18. millerbeach says

    Pick another site. It is not to late to tell Russia to shove it. Russia is too consumed with hatred. I hope they can eat that hate when they are hungry this winter. Sadly, someone else mentioned it is the peasants that will suffer. Sorry this is the case, sorry the games might be ruined, but there are millions in that nation that need our help. That need is bigger than any game.

  19. Jerry6 says

    If necessary, tell Russia to shove it! There are enough Olympic sites in the world where a little cleaning up and modernizing would permit the events to be held. Why let the Athletes suffer because of Russia. We boycotted them once before; We can do it again.

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