In all the time I was reading about the “gay propaganda” ban that’s being passed in Russia, it never occurred to me that it might endanger LGBT Olympians who are heading to Russia for the 2014 Winter Games. As Gay Star News points out, “Under the new ‘homosexual propaganda’ law, tourists deemed to be ‘promoting homosexuality’ could be arrested and deported.”
While the “gay propaganda” ban is law quite yet, it most likely will be before the end of the month. A spokesperson for the International Olympics Committee said they are still “concerned” about the ban, however also reassured their commitment to non-discrimination and the Olympic Games are open to all athletes.
“The IOC would like to reiterate our long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games. The IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.”
With all of the recent murders, and gay-bashing in Russia, pardon me if I don’t feel too reassured. Under the “gay propaganda” ban organizations could be fined 1,000,000 rubles, or about $30,000 USD. Individuals who are found “promoting homosexuality” could pay a penalty of 5,000 rubles or $166 USD.
I don’t know which would be the better choice of action, to advocate for moving the Olympics due to their homophobic nature, or to encourage LGBT Olympians to participate and hope they win the Gold, giving the Russian people more exposure to LGBT people.
The question is, is the risk worth it?
Story via Gay Star News