As many are preparing for their trip to Sochi, Russia, there seems to be a lot of conversations regarding the 2014 Winter Olympics anti-gay law controversy. Watching the news over the past couple of months, anyone can see that the anti-gay laws put in place by President Vladimir Putin this past June have been causing quite the stir around the world — especially with those planning to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’ve done our research and are here to help answer some questions you may be having regarding what the status will be when arriving in Sochi.
How will the Winter Olympics be Affected by Anti-Gay Laws?
With much controversy surrounding the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, many athletes, tourists, and fans alike are all wondering the same thing: how will the Winter Olympics be affected by anti-gay laws? Most authorities surrounding the situation have come to announce that there will be no need for worry regarding anti-gay rights, protests, or even the threat of a possible terrorist attack.
Despite a law banning pro-gay and homosexual propaganda, Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko assures worried patrons and travelers will be respected and will have the same rights as anyone else. However, even with Mutko’s reassurance, civilians and athletes alike have been openly protesting these anti-gay laws in a number of different ways including verbal protests in the streets of Russia’s capitol.
The International Olympic Committee has been told by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak that “everyone will be welcome at the Games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation,” and that Russia will be in agreement with the Olympic charter which has a strict ban on any form of discrimination.
The 2014 Winter Olympics are acheduled to begin on February 7th, 2014 and end on February 23rd 2014.
Will there be protests in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics?
One thing that is surely on everyone’s mind as they travel to Sochi for the 2014 is whether or not there will be anti-gay protests in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. What may come as a surprise to many is that Russian President Vladimir Putin has actually signed a decree which will ban all demonstrations, rallies, and protests for the two and half months surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The decree also has a specific restriction on all vehicles going in and out of the Olympic Village and surrounding areas, prohibiting any vehicle without a local license plate, non-emergency vehicles, and non-Olympic-accredited vehicles to enter the area.
Despite assuring that Russia will be in compliance with the Olympic Charter’s rules of anti-discrimination, Deputy Prime Minsitry Dmitry Kozak has stated that the new anti-gay laws will still be enforced.
Protests have been taking place all over the world – including the United States where bars have even stopped selling Russian vodka – against the new law passed by President Putin who has prohibited “homosexual propaganda” to be viewed by anyone under 18. The Olympics, which has always been a stage for the entire world to come together as one, should be a place to celebrate joy and happiness, not discrimination.
Why Boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics?
As the news of the anti-gay law passing in Russia has flooded the media, thousands of people all over the world have taken a stance on the issue by claiming their boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Even bars from across the globe have taken part in this boycott by refusing customer’s to purchase any sort of Russian-made liquor, specifically Russian vodka.
So why boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics? The outlaw of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to anyone under the age of 18 has outraged many mainly because of the already established threats to the gay and lesbian community in Russia – a country that is very outspoken about it’s liberal views on divorce, abortion, and adultery but lacks the more modern stance on homosexuality.
Many of those who are together in boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics feel as though the country hosting any Olympic games should be open and understanding of all genders, races, and now sexuality.
Another point of concern is the fact that this new law gives law enforcers the ability to become more aggressive towards gay and lesbians within the community because of the ignorant thoughts of linking homosexuality and pedophilia.
What are the Anti-Gay Laws in Russia?
With so much talk about whether or not people are going to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics and whether or not there are going to protests during the games, many are still curious to know what the actual laws entail. So, what are the anti-gay laws in Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on June 30, 2013 that bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” To most people around the world, this recent bill is far too broad, with some even viewing it as a poor attempt to prosecute anyone supporting any sort of “homosexual” activities.
The laws get even more confusing and ambiguous when taking a look at the differences in penalties between whether you’re a Russian citizen or an alien to the country.
If you’re Russian, you can be fined anywhere between 40,000 to 200,000 rubles which converts to $1,200 to $1 million depending on whether you are a using homosexual propaganda in public, in the media or internet, or if you’re an organization or organization leader.
If you’re an alien, you may be subjected to anywhere between $120 – $3,000 and can serve up to 15 days in a Russian jail.
President Obama’s Reactions to Anti-Gay Laws in Russia
In recent months, many laws on gay marriage have been flooding the news. The ruling against DOMA and now in more recent news the recognition of same-sex couples under tax laws has made for exciting and enjoyable times in the United States. However, in Russia, things aren’t as joyful. Broad and ambiguous anti-gay laws throughout the country have left not only Russia natives but rulers and people around the world furious.
US President Barack Obama is one of the many who have spoken out about Russia’s laws against gay propaganda saying:
“I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them… One of the things I think is very important for me to speak out on is making sure that people are treated fairly and justly because that’s what we stand for, and I believe that that’s a precept that’s not unique to America. That’s just something that should apply everywhere.”
In reaction to the thousands of people that are proposing to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, President Obama has reacted by saying, “I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics. We’ve got a bunch of Americans out there who are training hard who are doing everything they can to succeed…”
Obama continues by stating, “One thing I’m really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes we’re seeing there.”
One of the strongest things Obama said during this speech was, “If Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker.”
Categories: 2014 Winter Olympics