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Sochi asks IOC to help stop gay law 'speculation'

Sochi asks IOC to help stop gay law 'speculation'

Associated Press, TALES AZZONI 19 minutes ago

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The head of the Sochi Olympics asked the IOC on Sunday to help "stop this campaign and this speculation" related to the anti-gay law recently passed in Russia.

IOC President Jacques Rogge said the Olympic body will remind athletes to refrain from any protests or political gestures during the Feb. 7-23 games. The IOC's top marketing official said sponsors are worried about possible demonstrations, which could "ruin a lot for all of us."

Sochi organizing chief Dmitry Chernyshenko was asked at the IOC general assembly about the possible impact of the legislation that bans gay "propaganda."

He said the Russian government had made clear the law would not affect the games, and he urged the IOC to convey the message to "those who are still trying to speculate on this very transparent and very clear topic."

"It's very important to have your support to stop this campaign and this speculation regarding this issue," Chernyshenko said.

Russia's law prohibiting promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations has been denounced by activists and criticized by President Barack Obama. Activists have called for a boycott of the Sochi Games, although Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have ruled that out.

Chernyshenko reiterated that the law doesn't ban homosexuality in any way and "doesn't contradict any element of the Olympic Charter."

He noted that President Vladimir Putin has assured that the Russian constitution "guarantees the equality of rights and freedom for everybody" in the country, including guests, visitors, athletes, fans and the Olympic family.

"We are absolutely confident that there will be no conflicts in that regards," he said. "It will not stop (Sochi) 2014 from proudly upholding the Olympic values, I promise you."

Rogge said the IOC is satisfied with Russia's explanations of the law so far.

"The constitution of the Russian federations allows for homosexuality," he said. "And we have received strong reassurances that this law will not affect participants in the Sochi Games."

Chernyshenko cited comments by Putin in a recent interview with The Associated Press at his country residence outside Moscow. Putin sought to ease concerns the law would be used to punish athletes who display rainbow flags during the games, while insisting that gays are not discriminated against in his country.

"I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields," Putin said.

The law, which Putin signed in July, makes it illegal to expose minors to information that portrays these relationships as normal or attractive. The law imposes hefty fines, while also subjecting foreign citizens to up to 15 days in prison.

Putin has no intention of allowing a gay pride parade during the Olympics. He recently signed a decree banning all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi throughout the Winter Games.

Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg, chairman of the IOCs marketing commission, cited concerns from sponsors about possible demonstrations.

"Lately there has been a lot of discussion, especially in Western Europe and in the United States, and I'm being pushed by several of the sponsors asking what will happen with this new law in Russian in connection with the gay community," he said. "We are not to try to change anything over the laws in Russia. We will of course accept this as internal Russian decision. But what will the consequences be?"

Heiberg cited Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which says "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

"We have to be prepared," he said. "We can see many ways this could happen. I heard a lot from the sponsors, especially the American sponsors, what they are afraid of could happen.

"I think this could ruin a lot for all of us. We have to be prepared. We have to stick to Rule 50 in the Olympic Charter. But again, be prepared. I hope this can be discussed. ... Hopefully we will start a discussion knowing how to handle whatever might happen in this."

Rogge said athletes would be immediately reminded about their responsibility to abide by the IOC regulations related to protests in the charter.

"Definitely this is important in terms of informing the athletes about the responsibility of Rule 50," Rogge said. "We are going to do this immediately after this session, the same way we have done it before the Beijing Games, to inform the athletes and the national Olympic committees of the rules of rule 50."

As Sochi officials made their presentation, a few dozen people protested against the gay law outside the Russian embassy in Buenos Aires. They draped security barriers with rainbow flags and held a banner which said "Homophobia Kills."

by Anonymousreply 2009/30/2013

Fuck the IOC and Russia. We'll go to Sochi and protest subversively and for the camera every single day.

by Anonymousreply 109/08/2013

Fuck them and every company that sponsors this hatefest.

by Anonymousreply 209/08/2013

The US and the UK may not boycott, but I sure as hell will be.

I won't watch a single moment of coverage, will avoid websites that feature coverage, and will avoid the products of the main sponsors (I'm already boycotting Coke products entirely)

by Anonymousreply 309/08/2013

Sochi

by Anonymousreply 409/08/2013

Share this with friends

by Anonymousreply 509/08/2013

No Tchaikovsky

by Anonymousreply 609/08/2013

The new German head of the IOC has complied with Russia's demands.

(It is not just Angela Merkel, Germans are scary anti-gay these days)

by Anonymousreply 709/30/2013

Ve swear, das Juden lieb das Concentration Camps! Svimming, hiking, cocktail hour, it's ein wunderbar relaxing vacation fur dem krazy Juden! And if zey are away from us for a while, was ist dein problem?

by Anonymousreply 809/30/2013

If the German people did not mind these types of things or leaders, they stand up against it.

by Anonymousreply 909/30/2013

Thomas Bach certainly does not represent Germans. His only concern has been getting his new post, he's been campaigning for years and he is not about to put his position in jeopardy.

It's not about being anti-gay. You have to realize the (slight) parliamentary majority after the latest elections is actually left-wing, with all left-wing parties firmly for equality.

by Anonymousreply 1009/30/2013

Well, he wasn't voted IOC president by Germans, was he? And as I said in my previous comment, despite Merkel's win, the parliamentary majority is for increasing gay rights. Merkel herself isn't exactly Republican and the constitutional court has been ruling for equal rights when her party has not.

by Anonymousreply 1109/30/2013

[quote]The IOC's top marketing official said sponsors are worried about possible demonstrations, which could "ruin a lot for all of us."

They should keep right on worrying, this will only get worse for them.

[quote]Heiberg cited Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which says "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

We need a Fuck Rule Fifty campaign.

by Anonymousreply 1209/30/2013

All this hearsay about if Germans are, in general, still anti-gay, was resolved when Merkel campaigned on a platform of continued second class status for gay Germans..... and was then, elected to the biggest majority in 57 years.

Deny it all you want, the but the 2013 German election results, answered that question with verifiable proof.

by Anonymousreply 1309/30/2013

She did not win majority though. She got 41,5% ...is that a majority to you?

by Anonymousreply 1409/30/2013

Silence implies one of three things, indifference, approval or subjugation.

by Anonymousreply 1509/30/2013

IOC is anti-gay hate group. So are it's sponsors.

by Anonymousreply 1609/30/2013

How many Gay people have to get killed/arrested in Russia at the Olympics, before it damages Cokes or McDonalds international reputation though?

What is the body count number for change? Let's just ask the Corporations now.

by Anonymousreply 1709/30/2013

Germans, like Russians, have form when it comes to persecuting gays. A leopard can't change its spots

by Anonymousreply 1809/30/2013

The EU should force equality on Germany.

by Anonymousreply 1909/30/2013

Germany has nothing to do with this, and as any visit to Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, or even Munich will tell you, the US could use a little more German gay culture.

by Anonymousreply 2009/30/2013
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