Russia plans to enforce anti-gay law during Sochi Olympics

By Evan Hilbert |

Russia's sports minister announced Thursday that the country will enforce a new law that prohibits gay rights activism when it plays host to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The International Olympic Committee released a statement last week saying that no athletes or spectators would be affected by the law. And while LGBT athletes and spectators will be allowed in Sochi, they will be disallowed from propogandizing.

"An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn't banned from coming to Sochi," Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with R-Sport, according to the Associated Press. "But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable."

The law, which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, bans spreading information about "nontraditional sexual relations" to minors, and even extends to opining about these topics online.

Mutko pointed out that identifying as a homosexual is not punishable.

"The corresponding law doesn't forbid non-traditional orientation, but other things: propaganda, involvement of minors and the youth," Mutko said, according to the AP.

In its statement last week, the IOC said that they had been assured by "the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the games."

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