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Russian Official: 'Gay Propaganda' Ban Will Not Apply to Sochi Olympics Guests and Athletes

Igor Ananskikh, deputy chairman of the State Duma's Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy Committee, is contradicting recent claims by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko that athletes and visitors to the Sochi Olympics will not be given any special exemptions from the country's oppressive anti-gay laws, Interfax reports:

AnanskikhRussia's new law that imposes heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18 will not apply to the guests and athletes participating in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on Sochi, Igor Ananskikh, deputy chairman of the State Duma's Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Policy Committee, told Interfax on Friday.

"The Olympic Games is a major international event. We need to be as polite and tolerant as possible. That is why a decision has been made not to raise this issue during the Olympics," he said.

The Russian government's decision not to apply the requirements of this law to the event's guests and participants is "totally logical and correct," he added.

"Russia plans to host large international competitions in the future. The atmosphere at them must be as safe and polite as possible," Ananskikh said.

Regardless of Ananskikh's statements, the spotlight has now been turned on Russia's heinous human rights abuses against LGBT people and will not fade anytime before Sochi.

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Comments

  1. I'm annoyed that activists are being ignored by the media and that our collective concern for LGBT people in Russia is being confused for concern of Olympic athletes that were obviously never going to be arrested under this law, lest Russia cause an international incident.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 3, 2013 8:14:11 AM


  2. The idea that guests and athletes will be safe is Russian propaganda in it's finest form. Who gives out "gay propaganda" to anyone let alone to those under the age of 18 other than their government or their "crazies"? They are trying to "cover their asses" until one of us gets over there who they perceive as gay, and then make him or her "disappear".

    Posted by: JT | Aug 3, 2013 8:14:49 AM


  3. Boycott Russia from now on until they strike down that law.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Aug 3, 2013 8:37:00 AM


  4. TOWLEROAD staff - he later said that anti-gay laws will still be applied.

    Posted by: litper | Aug 3, 2013 8:45:02 AM


  5. The Olympic Games are a time of politeness and tolerance, so until that time and after it, they will return to intimidating, beating, and incarcerating people.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 3, 2013 9:45:41 AM


  6. Move the games or boycott.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Aug 3, 2013 9:52:18 AM


  7. The mainstream media needs to understand that our concern is not about the athletes as much as it is about the Russian GLBT people. Let's not fall for Russia's tricks.

    Posted by: Adam | Aug 3, 2013 10:00:05 AM


  8. @JLEO71 say let the games go on but encourage all athletes to wear a rainbow lapel in solidarity and make every effort to embarrass the Russian idiots. Someone the other day suggested (I think it was here) that NBC should start each Olympic broadcast with their old peacock symbol but with the tail feathers in the rainbow colours. I'd say let's bring as much attention to this as possible because it isn't about the Olympics. It's about LGBTQ people in Russia who are being persecuted and oppressed and jailed and beaten and raped and murdered.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 3, 2013 10:00:31 AM


  9. Boycott. Rainbow pins and flags are not a strong-enough statement.

    Posted by: Richard | Aug 3, 2013 10:04:03 AM


  10. Simple, Repeal the law or face boycotts from Travel to products and all things Russian.

    Posted by: Will | Aug 3, 2013 10:28:40 AM


  11. Of course they weren't going to arrest any of the LGBT athletes during the Olympics- which is a big pro Russian propaganda event.

    Posted by: jaragon | Aug 3, 2013 10:33:49 AM


  12. Rainbow pins and flags and other accessories ARE AGAINST THE OLYMPIC RULES. Any athlete who wears a rainbow during the opening ceremonies risks elimination, and since the IOC are being assholes about gay rights, I imagine they will expel athletes, especially if there are demands to enforce the rules, which there surely will be.

    Wearing accessories is not an option.

    Posted by: Wisebear | Aug 3, 2013 11:13:22 AM


  13. Picture the scene: a street in Sochi or in a town nearby. Two police officers have apprehended a man. One holds the captive with his arm twisted behind his back, while the other addresses him. "We are detaining you, Comrade Faggot, for the rainbow pin stuck to your lapel. If you are here for the Olympics, we'll let you go. If you're here for some other reason, you're under arrest."

    Seems a little improbable, hunh? Almost as improbable as getting two "high-ranking government spokesmen" in Russian to tell the same story in the course of a week about how they plan to handle the presence of gay people at the time of the Olympics. Or to communicate that story to their police, who will implement their decisions. Or to control the local thugs, whom the government has happily co-opted up to now to be the real purveyors of "justice."

    Maybe it's just me, but Sochi sounds like it has all the earmarks of a power keg, and I can't even figure out which of the "high-ranking government spokesmen" has the authority to tell us how Olympic visitors will actually be treated.

    Think I'll pass.

    Posted by: Keppler | Aug 3, 2013 11:15:50 AM


  14. Even if I could afford to go, I'd be terrified to be in Russia why these laws are on the books.

    As far as the IOC banning rainbow flags and pins, is it to late to have the Olympic uniforms made with a rainbow included in the design/pattern of the fabric?

    Posted by: jsb | Aug 3, 2013 11:33:33 AM


  15. Don't believe him. They've let the Russian Orthodox church take over the country and they are about reasonable as Al Qaeda or the Tea Party. I'm boycotting anything Russian these days anyway.

    Posted by: Victor_in_PA | Aug 3, 2013 11:38:06 AM


  16. Anybody who understands Russia knows that Russians could not care less what Americans and Western Europeans think and the more they are pressured by the West, the more likely they are to dig in their heels and take even more extreme measures.

    Make a scene at the Olympics and it will almost certainly be harmful towards the cause of gay rights in Russia.

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 3, 2013 11:44:09 AM


  17. "...more polite" simply means a bit more care hiding the arrests, torture and killing of its own LGBT community...so that their money-train isn't interrupted. Right? Got it.

    Posted by: Geoff | Aug 3, 2013 11:50:53 AM


  18. They'll be maybe--depending on who's talking--polite and tolerant and in favor of creating a safe atmosphere during the Olympics, but otherwise they'll revert to being a Putin-thug nation. As others have said, the concern is more about what happens when they're not putting on a politeness charade.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 3, 2013 11:57:01 AM


  19. Anyone who visits another country must abide by that country's laws. Athletes are no exception. Russia is a country who stands up for its values. Dasvidanja

    Posted by: AK47 | Aug 3, 2013 12:23:51 PM


  20. Liar and irrelevant. The money you make off of these games will be used to persecute and oppress LGBT people and to protect the barbarians, both cops and civilians, who are killing and bashing gay people. End the f@#king Naziesque law or there will be violent backlashes.

    Posted by: RMc | Aug 3, 2013 12:38:20 PM


  21. It's very nice that they will be willing to accept the money of gay tourists without jailing them. After the games are over, they can go back to persecuting, torturing and imprisoning their own gay citizens--all with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox Church. Isn't PR wonderful?

    Posted by: jomicur | Aug 3, 2013 12:41:42 PM


  22. Here is his facebook page. Give a piece:

    https://www.facebook.com/iananskih?fref=ts

    Posted by: RMc | Aug 3, 2013 12:49:56 PM


  23. It's nice to see we have a member of the right wing idiots represented here today-AK47. Go take your gay bashing elsewhere.

    Posted by: Macmantoo | Aug 3, 2013 12:50:05 PM


  24. AK47, did you get lost on your way to Free Republic? Your lack of morals disgusts us all.

    Posted by: MateoM | Aug 3, 2013 12:51:18 PM


  25. Russia has been a frequent site of the world figure skating championships. I don't see that happening again any time soon.

    Posted by: chris | Aug 3, 2013 1:48:24 PM


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