Stephen Fry and international gay rights group All Out have focused world attention on Russia over its new anti-gay law.
This law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, bans “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” It makes it a crime to openly discuss gay rights and relationships where minors can overhear.
President Obama has joined in the growing chorus of international leaders and sportsmen concerned that Russia’s new anti-gay laws could be enforced at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Obama told Jay Leno during an appearance on “The Tonight Show, “I think [Vladimir] Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work….and I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOS) has said the laws will have no affect on anything that happens during the Games. However, Russia’s sports minister seemed to contradict that.
Obama said: “If Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track, or in the swimming pool, or on the balance beam, and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it.”
The Deputy General Secretary of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Nick Davies, told the Associated Press that, “It would be good for Russia to see people with “alternative lifestyles, and this may serve as an impetus for them to reconsider their views instead of just living in an isolated society.”
Meanwhile, an online petition to move the upcoming Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia to Vancouver is gathering steam.
47,000 people have signed the petition so far, a dramatic increase from 6,000 signatures on Monday.
The question on everyone’s mind is, will the U.S. or any other country, decide to boycott the Sochi Olympics over this issue?
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