Russia Asks IOC to Help Stop Gay Law "Speculation"
The Winter Games that will be held in Russia in 2014 have been on the spot light because of the anti-gay law the Russian government has recently issued. This controversial law, signed in July by President Vladimir Putin, has already been criticized by the U.S. President Barack Obama and denounced by international activists.
Although IOC president Jacques Rogue has indicated that "the constitution of the Russian federations allows for homosexuality", several organizers have reacted to this law that makes it illegal to expose minors to information that portrays "nontraditional" sexual relationships as normal.
Dimitry Chernyshenko, Sochi organizing chief, has assured that the law "doesn't contradict any element of the Olympic Charter". adding that President Vladimir Putin has noted that the Russian constitution "guarantees the equality of rights and freedom for everybody in the country".
Government officials and event organizers do not want any gay demonstration during the Olympic Games. Sponsors are also concerned about the potential implications caused by this law.
The IOC plans to remind athletes to refrain from any protests and Putin has signed a decree banning all demonstrations during the Sochi Winter Games.
It is difficult not to speculate about the new anti-gay law in the Russian Constitution, particularly in the context of a major international event like the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. We are living in a world where civil rights are considered to be a major component of modern society and gay rights have attracted support and attention from the international community.
President Vladimir Putin is introducing this law just a few months before his country will be hosting the Winter Olympic Games, placing Russia under the surveillance of milliions of people that disagree with what they consider to be a violation of civil rights.
Russia has argued that they are exercising their sovereignty by protecting what they consider is best for their children's rights. It seems that President Putin has paid little attention to the more liberal views of most other countries in the world.
The risk of a boycott is significant particularly as sponsors express their concerns about potential financial loses for the event. The Russian Federation will face pressure from the international community to visibly demonstrate how far they are willing to go in respecting civil rights.