Jacques Rogge | News | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Russia Defends Anti-Gay Laws, Says It Will Not Discriminate Against Homosexuals at Sochi

The Russian government has responded to the International Olympic Committee's request for clarification about application of its laws during the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the AP reports:

KozakThe IOC received a letter Thursday from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (pictured) giving assurances the host country will comply with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.

However, Kozak didn't back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive...

...Kozak says the law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation."

IOC President Jacques Rogge seemed pleased with the response, calling it a "strong written reassurance."

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  1. WTF? Really.

    This is the assurance the IOC was looking for to make sure that that supporters and LBGT won't be arrested, fined and held for up to 15 days before being "deported" for wearing a rainbow pin.


    Posted by: Will | Aug 22, 2013 10:15:31 AM

  2. How is this reassuring? He said he won't discriminate but denied that enforcing their bigotry is discrimination? This is no reassurance at all!

    Posted by: Sparky | Aug 22, 2013 10:18:37 AM

  3. Oh, I feel better now. A straight person who wears a rainbow pin or speaks out in support of GLBT citizens is equally likely to be thrown in jail.

    Good on you, IOC!!

    Posted by: Cal | Aug 22, 2013 10:19:59 AM

  4. Go to the IOC Facebook page and make your feelings known.

    Posted by: Brent silverstein | Aug 22, 2013 10:32:51 AM

  5. Sounds like Jacque Rogge is as big a fool as Putin.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 22, 2013 10:44:24 AM

  6. So.... Russia promises to persecute gay people and allies because that is the law, and the IOC is delighted that this persecution will not be called discrimination.


    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Aug 22, 2013 10:48:49 AM

  7. @Cal - "Oh, I feel better now. A straight person who wears a rainbow pin or speaks out in support of GLBT citizens is equally likely to be thrown in jail."

    As long as it is not acknowledged as discrimination, then the IOC is satisfied.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Aug 22, 2013 10:49:54 AM

  8. "you just don't understand - this law isn't for olympians, it's for the uppity gays that march in parades."

    that's why this law must go. the term propaganda is subjective, and it allows the law to be used as a weapon when it's convenient for authorities. it's nothing more than a sham law to legalize bigotry, promoted by the government and the "church".

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 22, 2013 10:54:38 AM

  9. His defense of the law is absurd. As US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it, "a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews".
    Russian officials are essentially saying "we don't discriminate against gay people, we just criminalize publicly doing or saying anything that might be in their favor."

    Posted by: Hunter | Aug 22, 2013 10:56:16 AM

  10. Jacques Rogge is a corrupt and dishonest fool.

    He has accepted bribes for the Olympics to be held in fascist Russia and is afraid of upsetting his paymasters.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 22, 2013 11:06:16 AM

  11. BS. They don't give a sh1t about "minors" and it's not targeted at "minors"

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 22, 2013 11:10:23 AM

  12. So? More "nothing". Right.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 22, 2013 11:11:32 AM

  13. "However, Kozak did not back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive.

    The law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kozak said."

    Of course. But wouldn't a gay olympian winning a medal qualify as making homosexuality "attractive"?

    And isn't this the same as saying that miscegenation laws aren't discrimination because whites can't marry blacks either? Whites AND blacks have to consider blacks inferior. See? No discrimination!

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 22, 2013 11:15:23 AM

  14. The US olympic uniforms should incorporate the rainbow as a big FU to russia

    Posted by: QJ201 | Aug 22, 2013 11:26:02 AM

  15. TOO LATE! The IOC has been permanently damaged and doesn't realize it. Equated with Berlin 1936, and refusing to immediately comply with its own charter requirements, it has failed its mandate and will suffer for it.

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 22, 2013 11:39:25 AM

  16. Interesting all the back and forth clarifications going on here - clearly Russia just needs to be banned from their own games, or the IOC needs to move the games to Vancouver or some other recent Winter games city. Perhaps the election of the new IOC President will have some positive outcome for the 2014 games?

    Posted by: PadLake | Aug 22, 2013 11:45:46 AM

  17. Unfortunately, same sh*t, different day.

    Is anyone really surprised?

    Posted by: jsb | Aug 22, 2013 11:55:48 AM

  18. Germany didn't put any of our Jews in jail during the 1936 Olympics. How did appeasement by the world then, work out for the rest of the Jews and any other unwanted a few years later?

    Propping up nationalism by attacking a small minority and making them the scapegoat for the nations ills, sound a bit familiar.

    Posted by: Jason B. | Aug 22, 2013 12:40:35 PM

  19. Can't have it both ways you Russian idiot. Anti-Gay laws ARE discriminatory. Duh...

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 22, 2013 1:58:32 PM

  20. Keep in mind that the IOC sees itself as a political organization pushing the "Olympic Movement", which outwardly seeks to resolve disputes through sports (don't ask how), but in reality is international welfare for quasi-fascists.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 22, 2013 2:08:26 PM

  21. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak seems to have failed logic 101, discriminating against gay people Is discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

    Is he claiming that gay relationships ARE traditional (as not specified) in the Russian Propaganda law, that would then agree with his statement, but the former statements (and actions) of his government would indicate that gay relationships are NOT classed as traditional in respect of this law although there have traditionally been gay relationships in Russia as in every other country.

    Also he lies when he claims it does not impact on the standards required by international Human Rights - the United Nations Directorate of Human Rights in Geneva certainly has made statements which contradicts him and have called for its repeal as being fundamentally contradictory to basic human rights and being oppressive.

    The position of the IOC has become a JOKE only it isn't funny!

    Posted by: renovato | Aug 22, 2013 2:59:16 PM

  22. The IOC is plainly an organization of bigots.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 22, 2013 5:17:19 PM

  23. Nobodies trying to persuade anyone to be gay. What a neanderthal! We are simply trying let young gay people know that it is OK to be who they ALREADY ARE and be PROUD of it, you fool!

    Posted by: ToThePoint | Aug 22, 2013 5:36:44 PM

  24. Niet, Russia, Niet. Nope. You lost. With half the world boycotting your ugly country, you lost...epically. Internationally. Huge. Nothing you can say now to change the tide. Too late, you lose. Next time, try not hating so much when hosting an international event. All that hate has made Russia look quite haggard, ugly and dumb.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Aug 23, 2013 5:34:34 AM

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