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Will Russia’s anti-gay ruling affect the Sochi Olympic Games?

MSN News recently posted an article focusing on Russia’s fairly new “anti-gay gag ruling,” which President Vladimir Putin signed in June. According to the Huffington Post, this law has stirred up some controversy regarding next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The new rule forbids the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced a statement of support in order to diminish any concerns athletes feared. "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." But is the IOC making enough effort to impact Russia’s views addressing homosexuality? And what does this law mean for Russia and the rest of the world?

In a letter to the IOC, Boris O. Dittrich, Advocacy Director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, warns that the law involves anyone while in Russia (foreigners- possibly including athletes) who address homosexuality publically will face serious penalties such as being fined or even arrested. The law also does not tolerate people speaking about their sexual orientation in public.

The Women’s Sports Foundation believes that every person, regardless of sex, means, race, religion, ability or sexual orientation should be able to reap the benefits of sports. Our official position? Lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes and coaches should be able to identify themselves if they choose to without fear of negative consequences — loss of job, scholarship, starting position; negative performance evaluation; dropped from team. Read more about our stance here.

Full MSN News article here.