Monday, July 29, 2013

Russia: Lawmaker says government cannot "suspend" anti-gay laws for the 2014 Sochi Games

Anti-gay Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov
BBC's Russian-language service has posted a story quoting the co-sponsor of Russia's "homosexual propaganda" bill, who says that the government does not have the power to selectively suspend enforcement during the Sochi Olympics, as was suggested they would to the International Olympic Committee last week:

St. Petersburg legislator Vitaly Milonov of the [ruling - ed.] United Russia Party has asked the government to refrain from selectively enforcing the law on "gay propaganda," which he co-sponsored. On Friday, the International Olympic Committee informed journalists that the Russian government had assured the safety of all athletes and spectators without respect to their sexual orientation.

"I haven't heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law. And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn't have the authority," said Milonov in an interview with Interfax. Further, during an interview with "Ekho Moskvy" the legislator claimed that the law on "defending children from propaganda of non-traditional values," for which he lobbied, has nothing to do with "the ordinary life of adults" [whatever that means - ed.], adding that he personally doesn't know any LGBT athletes.

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