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:
“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."