Campaigners for gay rights are protesting the winter games taking place in Russia following an anti-gay law that came into effect in June, reports the BBC.
Despite Russia decriminalising homosexuality 20 years ago, the country has passed a law, which many would view as prejudiced, to penalise anyone who issues information regarding homosexuality to those under the age of 18.
In objection to the introduction of this law, gay rights campaigners seek to move the winter games to a more liberal country.
Jacques Rogge, Head of the International Olympic Committee, asked Russia to further explain this law despite having received written reassurances from the Sochi organiser that this particular piece of legislation ‘would not affect those attending or taking part in the Games’. Additional clarification has been called for by Mr Rogge, although he remains sure that the contentious issue is more likely to be down to unclear translation.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Rogge said: “We are not clear about the English translation of the Russian law and we want clarification of this translation to be able to understand what has been communicated to us…We are waiting for this clarification before having final judgement on these reassurances,” reports the BBC.
Offering his opinion on the unfolding events, Barack Obama made clear that he did not believe such a law should cause the winter games to be moved elsewhere. Instead, he encouraged the gay athletes who would be taking part to strive for a medal in the hope that this would ‘go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we’re seeing there’.
Athletes in the Olympic games are required to respect Russian laws for the duration of their participation and time spent in the country. However, in a bid to calm the outrage that has resulted from the introduction of this law, Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, reminds us of Russia’s constitution which promises to respect the individual’s private life.
Any advancement in this case will be made once Russia has clarified the translation of its new legislation.
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