Russia: Anti-Gay Law Will Apply to Olympians
Violators 'will be held accountable,' could face arrest, deportation
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2013 8:29 AM CDT
A gay rights activist chants slogans during a demonstration in front of the Russian consulate in New York, Wednesday, July 31, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Russia's sports minister has said the country's law banning "homosexual propaganda" will be in full effect during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi—and will apply to foreign athletes. "No one is forbidding a sportsman with a nontraditional sexual orientation to come to Sochi," Vitaly Mutko said yesterday. "But if he goes out on the street and starts to propagandize it, then of course he will be held accountable," the New York Times reports. That, after the International Olympic Committee assured athletes last week that "the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games"; Mutko's comments "seemed to undermine that claim," notes the Times.

The law forbids speaking about homosexuality around minors and bans gay public displays of affection—including hand-holding and symbols, ABC News reports. Violators face fines, arrest, and even deportation. Those symbols include the rainbow pin New Zealand gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup has promised to wear at the games, Daily Xtra reports. "If that gets me in trouble, then so be it," he said. "This is me standing up for what I believe in." (Click to see how gay bar patrons in America are taking a stand against the law.)

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Showing 3 of 93 comments
Aug 6, 2013 7:29 AM CDT
What the USA gay bars are doing is making a pretty fir statement. The idiot who wants to wear his gay pin and flaunt it in front of the bigoted Russians, then he is asking for whatever happens to him. They will not hesitate to arrest him. Why does the gay community feel that it must shove its lifestyle down the throats of heterosexual Americans and people in general? Wearing gay symbols is asking for negative comments and actions, do not flaunt them in other peoples faces.
Aug 4, 2013 3:23 PM CDT
The guy who wants to wear the rainbow pin is an idiot. Are the heterosexuals wearing pins to support their orientation? Bigotry will never go away until people stop putting themselves in the limelight to be criticized. Just be a person who swims well and move on. No one really cares if you ride a pogo stick or rub canoes.
Aug 3, 2013 8:43 PM CDT
The Russkies are right for a change and if the homosexual community does not like it, too bad..