Olympic committee calls for acceptance of all athletes at Winter Olympics despite Russian anti-gay laws
Responding to human rights groups, the International Olympic Committee has released a statement calling for the acceptance of all athletes in the wake of Russia’s recently passed anti-gay legislation.
“The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation,” the statement said.
“The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardize this principle.”
The upper house of the Russian Parliament voted last Thursday to approve both a bill banning adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples and the nationwide anti-”propaganda” bill banning the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors.
The bill, which has since been signed by President Vladimir Putin, bans foreign same-sex couples and unmarried individuals in countries where same-sex marriage is legal from adopting Russian children.
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Under the law, foreigners can be arrested, and detained for up to 15 days, as well as being subject to fines, and deportation.
Last week, speaking exclusively to PinkNews, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Russia to protect the rights of LGBT citizens following concerns about gay athletes and spectators attending the 2014 Winter Olympics.