Head of Sochi Olympics Begs IOC to Quell International Outrage Over Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws

Dmitry Chernyshenko (pictured), the organizing chief of the Sochi Games, begged the International Olympic Commitee to do something about all the building outrage over Russia's anti-gay laws, concerned about the fallout possible demonstrations would cause, the AP reports:

Dmitry_Chernyshenko“It’s very important to have your support to stop this campaign and this speculation regarding this issue," Chernyshenko said at an assembly of members of the IOC.

Marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg added: "Especially the American sponsors are afraid what could happen. This could ruin a lot for all of us."

Reuters adds that Chernyshenko claimed that the law banning "gay propaganda" does not affect gays. And because Putin recently gave an award to a gay person, Russia respects homosexuals.

"The constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees equality of rights for everybody in the country. It explicitly prohibits any form of discrimination," he told the IOC session…

"We make this clear. This law recently passed does not prohibit homosexuality directly or indirectly. It does not contradict elements of the Olympic Charter. It will not stop 2014 proudly upholding the Olympic values," Chernyshenko said.

"The law will have no impact for any guest visitor. Whether athletes or just fans or members of Olympic family, everybody is welcome to enjoy the fantastic Games."

Chernyshenko said Putin had awarded "the highest Russian order" to a homosexual recently. "This is a greatest example of diversity of our country. It's important to have your (IOC) support in this campaign."


  1. Graphicjack says

    Good news… They are getting scared because it could affect their wallets, and those of their sponsors. Keep up the pressure until sponsors pull out, the IOC moves the Olympics, or until Tussia dumps the odious law. It doesn’t affect homosexuals? How stupid do they think we are?

  2. KC says

    “…the law banning “gay propaganda” does not affect gays.” Seriously? I think there’s a place for you on Faux News.

  3. Ken says

    This is a sign that the protests are working. Keep up the pressure, especially on the Corporate sponsors, when they start to pull out it will cripple the games.

  4. Less says

    Begs?? Get real. Gay people will be yesterday’s concern if a war starts. And Putin is the Belle of the Ball these days. The games will happen regardless of how much coke is spilled Being concerned for the world is a perfect cover for a faltering marriage. You wanted these marriages. They are in your laps now. Not a word about Syria from you people.

  5. Robert says

    Economic problems? Blame the minority. Corruption problems? Blame the minority. Human rights violations? Blame the minority, then try to wipe out said minority for being the cause of said wiping out of said minority.

  6. yuninv says

    Less, I’ve checked your math and I’m sorry to tell you that apple + microwave is not equal to Gregorian chant. You’ll have to create a more coherent equation next time.

  7. Paul says

    Easier to protest some imagined indignity, than focus on what’s happening in the world right now. Your pro-gay President is at risk of becoming the first President in history to receive a no vote from Congress on a war resolution. Gays remain silent, yet they want to
    manipulate world events. Your credibility in the world is also at stake.

  8. Darrell says

    Let the GAMES begin! And the hugely dominant Winter Games Rival that has total equal rights to Gays in regards to laws and marriage (ie) CANADA Wipe the Russians off the map in both sports and human rights.

    This doofus is now running scared and perhaps also Moscow is now afraid that the second Olympics they have hosted will have some sort of boycott. Much like the 1980 Summer Games did in Moscow and will truly humiliate Russia’s international image again along with the former USSR. Obviously they have no concept of Equal Rights and NEVER did anyway……The country has a history of purges of different groups throughout time and this is just a 21st Century version without sending innocents to the gulag…….

  9. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    This is a PR war Russia can’t win. The louder they scream their denials of injustice, the clearer picture the world gets of the true situation.

  10. litper says

    Just above the fresh news of Russians wanting to take away kids from gay parents and he says this? What a liar!

  11. Bill Perdue says

    The Sochi games were ruined long ago and the homophobes at the IOC and NBC-MSNBC knew all about it from the beginning.

    We can help by pushing for a boycott of NBC/Comcast/MSNBC and other major US companies who refuse to speak out condemning these events. NBC was aware of the progress of the Russian bigot law as early as 2006: “Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that before Sochi was chosen for the 2014 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other stakeholders, including American multinational sponsors of the Winter Olympics, as well as NBC Universal, which has the broadcast contract, carefully tracked the path of the legislation… .” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/how-olympic-sponsors-and_b_3731878.html

  12. Marc says

    The best way to calm down the world’s outrage of bigoted laws in Russia is to remove the bigoted laws in Russia …. NOT keep the bigoted laws in Russia and find ridiculous ways of pretending they aren’t that bad.


  13. JMC says

    Paul, what are you even upset about? Most gay people are deadset against the war and will rejoice if Congress shuts down Obama… just like straight people are and will lol

  14. simon says

    Putin gave an award to a homosexual; but no one knows who that person is. Name please. Of course revealing the name of that person amounts to “gay propaganda”.

  15. says

    @Simon: yes, that’s what I asked Alekseev to ask Putin, should he get to meet him. Unless you can name names of all those gays who have been awarded medals and prizes, it doesn’t really count.

  16. says

    It’s now 5.00 am in NYC…..and either the Nightwatchman or the Computer Putitan Programme has swallowed my posting. It needs to be reprogrammed to allow ‘bad’ language , on the grounds of freedom of expression and the fact that we are all adults here.

    But I digress:
    The Sochi Games have become a promotion and a stamp of approval of homophobic laws in Russia.The sponsors are lending their financial and moral support to laws of suppression……………..after all the girls of the Girl-Band “Pussy” are still in prison; gays are beaten up routinely and recently tortured and killed without the Police being interested in protection of gays.
    Russian society has begun its descent into demonizing a minority…..not a new phenomenon…..BTW, they have the same attitude to blacks ( see their soccer teams).

    But unless we raise Cain about these laws matters will deteriorate, more draconian laws will be enacted, and Yes, the proposed law of taking away the children of suspected gays will be enacted.
    We are seeing the tip of an iceberg. We have been here before and we know how this story ends.

    Sochi Games promote Homophobia: the sponsors must be made to know it and feel it.

  17. DannyEastVillage says

    Could he really not know that the whole world knows how gay people are being treated in his country? Does he also think the internet is a series of tubes?

  18. JT says

    Just because I say the sky is red doesn’t mean the sky isn’t blue. Just because the IOC says it’s OK there in Russia for LGBT, doesn’t make it so. Russia has earned a reputation of being on the wrong side of human rights and it’s going to take more than pinning a medal on some unknown homosexual, for some unknown reason, for me to believe they aren’t against homosexuality or homosexuals. The beatings continue, the discrimination continues, and I will do my part to boycott the Olympics and it’s sponsors.

  19. tropicbill says

    Where can I get a list of the American sponsors? My money isn’t going to support this outrage.

  20. dixichuk says

    Move over Rush, the Chick-fil-a Tea Party has found a new spokesman. Coming soon to Fox News: “Chern-in it up with Dimitri”. Rick Santorum drools.

  21. woodroad34d says

    Ah, the bullies and sociopaths are crying “bully”; what perfect little Republicans/Teabaggers they are.

  22. Hey Darlin' says

    I, like everyone here, wonder why they need a law that’s soooo useless.

    Stealing children from families just because they are gay families is a criminal act no matter how much you would try to say you support “equality”. Are you aware that inciting civilians to turn on each other to carry out your agenda is one of the oldest forms of control. We are on to you and your failure is now yours to take ownership of. History HAS been down this road before, we know where you’re headed, even if you don’t have a clue.

    The sad state of affairs in Russia has reminded gay Americans to continue to fight even harder for equality, nothing less.

  23. enough already says

    Why did my native German mind insist on translating his comments into NSDAP-Speak?
    Can’t imagine.

    The sad thing about this is how awful life for queers in Russia (already bad) is going to get. We’re seeing the beginning of a new wave of persecution.

    Part of Chernyshenko’s belief that our protests can be quieted is driven by ignorance. Much of it is driven by the support he’s getting from American christians who think Putin is going the right way and who pretend these laws aren’t really meant to harm us.

    Keep up the pressure, apparently it’s working.

  24. Gregory In Seattle says

    Translation: He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about human rights, just as long as his wallet isn’t injured.

  25. Chuck Mielke says

    The law “doesn’t affect gays directly or indirectly”? Apparently he hasn’t heard about the rise in anti-gay violence in Russia since passage of those laws. To some portion of a population, any law that stigmatizes a particular group will seem like declaring open season on that group; it draws the extremists out from under their rocks. One has to wonder why Putin has chosen, in time-dishonored fashion, to create a pariah class.

  26. Leo says

    If the HRC letter actually sent to the corporate sponsors is worth a damn, their Equality Index Scores will lower following the event.

    Otherwise it’s empty rhetoric, nothing more.

  27. IJelly says

    While Mr. Chernyshenko is correct in stating that the Russian law doesn’t criminalize homosexuality, what he fails to mention is that the Russian law defines homosexuality to be only what people do in private in their bedroom. In other words, according to the Russian law, it is illegal to kiss your honey goodbye at the airport, it’s illegal to hold hands at the movies, it’s even illegal to rent a movie with gay characters. (No Brokeback Mountain allowed in Moscow.) Two men or two women can’t rent a hotel room with a single bed or sign a lease for a one bedroom apartment.

    This needs to be a real concern for the IOC. I understand that the IOC doesn’t want demonstrations at the games, but how far are they willing to push the definition of what is a demonstration. Are two spectators holding hands a demonstration? Is a rainbow pin on your coat a demonstration? What about thanking your partner during a press conference?
    According to the Russian law each of these simple acts are grounds for being arrested.

  28. Henry Holland says

    “International outrage”? Outside of some gay and progressive blogs and protests that draw fairly small crowds, there is no outrage, just total indifference. It may be great for Andy and Joe.My.God. because it gives them an easy topic to write about that gets a lot of comments but this is NOT a mainstream issue.

    The Russians and NBC and their corporate sponsors know that they can ride this out. I mean, the protests against the Iraq invasion in 2003 were the largest the world’s ever seen and look how effective they were. How is a couple dozen people waving signs and chanting going to do anything?

    Sorry to be so cynical, but there’s simply too much money at stake for some gay protesters to derail this thing. As for Russia, they’re hopeless, they’ve never known freedom or democracy in their entire history, it’s more of the same.

  29. Jason B. says

    Anyone know where we can fin a list of companies supporting the Sochi Olympics. Everyone needs to be targeted in a systematic way. Make this Olympics Financially painful if they insist on having it in Russia.

  30. Bob R says

    Methinks Less and Paul are one and the same person. Next he or she will be posting as Mary and Ford. Sock puppets, isn’t that the tool trolls use?

    Let the protests continue. These Russian laws DO affect gay citizens of Russia and they are escalating. Soon gay parents will see their children taken away.

  31. MickyFlip says

    If the organizer of the Sochi games is showing concern. Then our cries are obviously working. Which means they’re starting to feel the pressure. Keep it up!!

  32. LetsTalk says

    Keep the pressure on them !

    Particularly now that the IOC is doing Russia’s propaganda FOR them – that the IOC would take this position and repeat obvious Russian government lies, and pretend that Russian officials have not said what they have is outrageous.

    If anything, we should step it up a few notches, as this latest announcement from the IOC is even more insulting and outrageous than anything to date.

    DEMAND ALL US corporations withdraw advertising, hit the lying IOC where it hurts !

  33. FunMe says

    Keep up the pressure. It is no longer in 2013 to continue the bigotry in Winter Olympica. Time to confirm the hate in Russia and get out of that hate country.

  34. says

    Even if Putin gave a homosexual an award, the “homosexual” in question can’t publicly declare he’s a homosexual without breaking the new “anti-propaganda” law.

    I hope the world can shame Putin and his cronies into backing down, but I’m not holding my breath. Unless there are allies within Russia who see and call out the injustice, it will only get worse. That said, keep the pressure on.

  35. Bill says

    @Less: Regarding “Not a word about Syria from you people,” today’s news reports indicated that Russia is offering a compromise where Syria’s chemical weapons will be removed by an international organization with the U.S. agreeing to not attack Syria if this is done.

    Remember, we don’t get the full story, at least not at this point. There’s a possibility that the U.S. and Russia are colluding to play “good cop, bad cop,” Meanwhile Assad gets to save face by agreeing to a deal sponsored by his major international supporter. Another possibility is that Russia is concerned that, if the rebels win, during the confusion some of those weapons might end up in the hands of radical groups in Russia.

    Also there is some evidence uncovered by German Intelligence that Assad might not have personally authorized the use of chemical weapons, which might indicate that he is losing control of the security apparatus. Apparently others have been asking for permission to use chemical weapons for months and he’s consistently said “no”. While it is possible that he changed his mind, they could also have decided to ignore him or there might have been some sort of miscommunication.

    The only safe thing to do is to not jump to conclusions.

  36. Stolidog says

    Nobody is going to watch. That’s what the fallout is going to be. I’m not boycotting the sponsors, I’m boycotting the games.

  37. Bill says

    Hopefully the IOC representatives educated this doofus about what would happen to the IOC if it tried to suppress the free speech rights of American citizens. Every lawyer in the country would be drooling and the IOC would be bankrupt before it had its day in court.

  38. Andy says

    The answer is simple: temporarily decriminalize “gay propaganda” starting a month before the games, and until a week after the games have ended. Then go back to jailing people for wearing rainbows.

  39. Lose says

    Putin saves the day. Get’s Obama our of self-created mess with Syria. Russia will deal with Syria to rid of chemical weapons. Forget your Olympic boycotts. They will only backfire on you. Russia is a friend now.

  40. dean says

    “…But first make note of all the gay hate. Maybe they will cancel each other out….POSTED BY: PAUL…”

    What Gay Hate?

    Oh…You must mean the pack of trollish garbage that You, Less-Paul, Troll Rick and all your other NOMBIES are trying to bring to life repeating a new lil’ meme.

    You sit there, tell us all how much gays hate. Provide no evidence. Then you cite yourself as proof?

    Less-Paul? I bet you bent your little brain really, really hard to be that ‘clever.

  41. dean says

    “… Forget your Olympic boycotts. They will only backfire on you. Russia is a friend now. POSTED BY: LOSE…”

    A freind now??? To whom???

    Man, put down your tin-cup of Vodka, dude, it is messing with your life.

    Russia is not friends with anyone, especially the U.S.


  42. Mike says

    I will support any boycott of advertisers that support the Sochi Olympics. I also don’t plan on watching the Sochi Olympics.

  43. Jerry6 says

    I suppose it is too much to ask, but if the Athletes voted to not perform unless the Games were moved to Canada (The best and most easily used previous cite), Russia might just agree to stop all of the anti Gay crap until after the Games.