Bil Browning

Russia Gives Worthless Written 'Assurances' to IOC

Filed By Bil Browning | August 22, 2013 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay propaganda law, IOC, Russia, Sochi Olympics, Winter Olympics

sochi-olympic-rings.jpgThe International Olympic Committee has announced that they've received a written assurance from the Russian government that it won't discriminate against LGBT people that's not worth the paper it was written on.

The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.

"The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety," Kozak said.

However, Kozak did not back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive.

The law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kozak said.

The letter still leaves open the question of what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda.
The letter added: "These requirements do not attract any limitations for participants and spectators of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on their legal right of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation or participation in any events stipulated in the Games program that are contradictory to the Olympic Charter or universally recognized standards of international law on human rights."

So what happens when a gay couple attending the Olympics holds hands in public? What if an athlete leaves the Olympic village while wearing a rainbow flag pin? What if a coach posts something pro-gay on Facebook? No one knows.

Want to be in line with the Olympic Charter of non-discrimination? Then they'll have to repeal the law entirely. The IOC should stand for nothing less. To accept this half-hearted excuse would be criminal.

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