Putin Says LGBT’s Welcome At Sochi Olympics
Despite recent concern of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, President Vladimir Putin made an announcement Monday saying the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi will be welcoming to gay athletes and guests.
At the end of June, Putin signed bill into law which bans the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward minors making LGBT athletes and spectators question what kind of response they would get during the Olympics.
“On my own and on your behalf, I have assured Mr. President (Bach) that we will do our best, and our athletes and fans will do their best too, so that both participants and guests feel themselves comfortable at Sochi Olympics regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin said according to a report by AP. “I would like to underline that.”
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, was among those who attended a meeting with Russia’s Winter Sports Federations on Monday where he received “assurances from the Russian government that it will respect the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination of any kind at the games,” the AP reported.
The IOC was also under scrutiny by those who say Russia isn’t upholding the Olympic Charter and the IOC hasn’t pressured them enough on their “gay propaganda” law which has been seen as discriminating.
Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter states, “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
Athlete Ally is a no-profit group that is “focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sports by educating allies in the athletic community and empowering them to take a stand.”
Athlete Ally is one of many groups asking the IOC to defend the principles stated in their own charter and take action against Russia’s discriminatory legislation.
Some Olympic teams like Germany have already received some attention for speculations on their brightly colored uniforms which some have concluded were a protest against Russia’s controversial law.
Germany’s rainbow Sochi uniforms
“With protests at Russia’s 2014 Olympic Games declared illegal and met with threats of legal consequences, many have called for alternative forms of protest at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in an effort to counter and bring awareness to the country’s institutionalized homophobia,” a report by Huffington Post said. “These have ranged in extremity and impact from same-sex hand holding, to wearing rainbow nails, to boycotting the Olympics entirely.”
In a one-on-one meeting on Monday, Bach told Putin he was impressed with the amount of work he is being shown by Russia for the preparation of the games which begin Feb. 7.
A new video has come out by some Russian Youtubers which really helps illustrate the point.July 13, 2015
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