Russian Winter Olympics embraces gay athletes in face of gay gag law

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has said it will embrace openly gay athletes when it travels to Russia in 2014.

After the State Duma passed the Înon-traditional relationships propagandaâ law by a unanimous vote yesterday (11 June), there are fears of repercussions when it comes to the Sochi Olympics.

While the legislation is not law yet, it is expected to easily pass in the Russian Senate and be legal by the end of the month.

Under the new Îhomosexual propagandaâ law, tourists deemed to be Îpromoting homosexualityâ could be arrested and deported.

Speaking to Gay Star News, an IOC spokesman said they were Îconcernedâ about the bill becoming law.

ÎThe IOC would like to reiterate our long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games,â they said.

ÎThe IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.â

The gay gag law will suspend any gay rights organization, and if they continue to exist, be fined up to one million rubles ($30.8k, ¥23.2)
Individuals found to be Îpromoting homosexualityâ will be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($166, ¥124)

More than two dozen gay rights activists were attacked by anti-gay thugs before they were arrested by the police.

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association of Europe appealed to international and European organizations to condemn the law and to consider Îmeaningful actions against Russiaâ.