Connect to share and comment

Will Russia's anti-gay laws affect the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee said athletes and those attending the 2014 Sochi Games will not be subject to Russia's anti-gay laws, but a lawmaker says otherwise.

Clone of Russia anti gay legislation 2012 4 25Enlarge
The Olympic Committee said athletes and tourists at Russia's 2014 Winter Games will not be subject to the country's anti-gay laws but it remains unclear. Russian gay rights activists rally in Moscow, on March 10, 2012. (Kirill Kudryavtsev /AFP/Getty Images)

Although the International Olympic Committee has promised that athletes and tourists at Russia's 2014 Sochi Games will not be subject to the country's recently passed anti-gay legislation, a Russian lawmaker is saying otherwise.

The IOC said in a July 26 statement it had "received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia" that laws would not affect the Games. 

But Vitaly Milonov, co-sponsor for the bill that outlaws "homosexual propaganda," said the country would arrest gay tourists and athletes because it is the law.

More from GlobalPost: Russia's anti-gay bill reflects rising homophobia

Milonov told the Interfax news agency:

"I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law. And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it."

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law an act that forbids "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and makes public events that promote same-sex rights or public displays of them illegal.

The legislation also includes a provision that allows the Russian government to arrest gay or "pro-gay" foreigners for two weeks before they are deported with a possible fine of up to $30,000.

On Wednesday, demonstrators emptied bottles of vodka outside the Russian Consulate in New York City in protest.

The bill has provoked public outrage internationally and calls for a global boycott of Russian vodka and other products.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/130731/russias-anti-gay-laws-2014-sochi-olympics