German Foreign Minister: Treatment of gay people in Russia unacceptable
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has criticised Russia’s treatment of gay people, branding it unacceptable.
The statement from the German Foreign Ministry comes in reaction to the fierce debate being held over homophobia in Russia in the run up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics with the Russian Duma have recently enacted its gay “propaganda” law as well as the recent banning of same-sex couples from adopting children.
Mr Westerwelle went on to say that calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics were “misguided” and had the potential to do more harm than good for gay people living in Russia.
His comments follow those of British Prime Minister, David Cameron who expressed his own deep concerns at the weekend and promised that Britain would tackle Russia over the anti-gay legislation but he also refused to back a boycott of the Winter Olympics. The International Olympics Committee has asked Russia for clarification over the anti-gay legislation but has also refused to move the Games.
Some gay right activists are currently calling for not only a boycott of the Games but also a boycott of Russian products including the controversial boycott of Russian vodka. High profile names such as Stephen Fry and George Takei have joined the calls for the Olympics to be moved out of Russia.
President Putin has reiterated that Russia is not a homophobic country and that the games can go ahead. However Russian lawmakers have stated that the gay propaganda law shall remain in force during the Olympics and cannot be suspended.