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Russian Sports Minister Confirms That Gay Athletes and Visitors Will Be Arrested During Olympic Games

2014 Winter OlympicsSources say that Russia will enforce their “anti-gay” laws during the Olympics. Russia will enforce a new law cracking down on gay rights activism when it hosts international athletes and fans during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the country’s sports minister said Thursday, appearing to contradict assurances to the contrary from the International Olympic Committee.

Russia’s contentious law was signed by President Vladimir Putin in late June, imposing fines on individuals accused of spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, and even proposing penalties for those who express these views online or in the news media. Gay pride rallies also are banned.

“An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn’t banned from coming to Sochi,” Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with R-Sport, the sports newswire of state news agency RIA Novosti. “But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable.”

“The corresponding law doesn’t forbid non-traditional orientation, but other things: propaganda, involvement of minors and the youth.”

The law specifies punishment for foreign citizens, to include fines of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000), time in prison for up to 15 days, deportation and denial of reentry into Russia.  Four Dutch citizens working on a documentary film in the northern Russian town of Murmansk were the first foreigners to be detained under the new law, although their case did not make it to court, according to RIA Novosti.

The Olympics, in my opinion, need to be boycotted or moved to another city! Atheltes in the LGBT community shouldn’t have to make a choice as to whether they compete for something they’ve worked incredibly hard for or not because they are AFRAID of being arrested for who they are?

Russia says that people of the “non-traditional orientation” won’t be arrested simply for being gay, but if they “go out on the streets and practice propaganda” they will be. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I take it as this. A LGBT athlete wins a medal. After the event he meets his husband or partner on the street and they embrace because they are happy, as any other couple may do. THEY WOULD BE ARRESTED! I’m sorry, but to me that is being arrested for being gay.

I think that not only should the LGBT community and allies should ban all Russian vodka, that the Olympics need to be banned. The International Olympic Committee needs to be flooded with emails, phone calls and letters saying that hosting the Olympics should not be held in a country that is not only anti-gay but has a new HARSH anti-gay law has made world-wide news. There are plenty of other countries who have put a bid in to host the 2014 Olympics and where LGBT athletes and allies would be safe to be who they are!

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