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Russia To IOC: We Won’t Arrest Gay People, Except When We Will

Jim Burroway

August 22nd, 2013

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak “reassured” — that’s the IOC’s word for it — the International Olympic Committee that Russia will comply with the Olympic Charter’s provision against discrimination. But…

In his letter, Kozak said the legislation does not impose any restrictions on sexual orientation, and stressed the Russian constitution prohibits discrimination against anyone based on sex, race or religion.

The law on gay propaganda, he said, centers on the “restriction of information that promotes non-traditional sexual relationships among children.”

“These legislations apply equally to all persons, irrespective of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, and cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation,” he said.

The letter added: “These requirements do not attract any limitations for participants and spectators of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on their legal right of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation or participation in any events stipulated in the Games program that are contradictory to the Olympic Charter or universally recognized standards of international law on human rights.”

Kozak’s vigorous defense of the law and his laughable definition of discrimination leaves unanswered what will happen to athletes or spectators if they make any statements or gestures that could be interpreted as “propaganda.” Which is fine with IOC President Jacques Rogge, who just wants everyone to forget that anything is happening at all. He hailed the letter as “strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Comments

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esurience
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

This is a law that criminalizes gay people speaking publicly about their own lives. Straight people can of course speak completely freely about their own lives. It implies that gay people are a corruption influence on children. So yes, it’s obviously discriminatory.

The IOC and various athletic organization’s behavior in this whole thing has been appalling.

Lucrece
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

The laws apply equally, except to straight people.

And what the fuck is “nontraditional”? Gay people didn’t magically come into existence this past decade.

Gay people are traditional. They have existed since straight people have existed.

Timothy Kincaid
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

I know it’s unconstitutional, but…

I’d love to see the city counsel of Washington, DC, pass an ordinance making it illegal to disseminate any pro-Russia propaganda anywhere that children might hear it. They could then send the Russian Consul assurances that they were not at all discriminatory towards Russians, that he’s fine to be Russian so long as he doesn’t go out and make pro-Russia statements in public or fly the Russian flag.

The Lauderdale
August 22nd, 2013 | LINK

Can anyone translate this paragraph for me?

“These requirements do not attract any limitations for participants and spectators of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on their legal right of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation or participation in any events stipulated in the Games program that are contradictory to the Olympic Charter or universally recognized standards of international law on human rights.”

Marcus
August 23rd, 2013 | LINK

Sure, Lauderdale:

“We’ll kindly permit participants and spectators to be physically present in the territory of the Russian Federation, so long as they agree that universally recognized standards of international law are whatever Putin says they are.”

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