Openly gay and lesbian athletes participating in next year’s winter olympics won’t be affected by Russia’s anti-gay laws, the International Olympic Committee announced.
In a statement to Gay Star News, a spokesperson for the IOC said the event will be welcoming of LGBT olympians when they travel to Russia to compete in 2014.
“The IOC would like to reiterate our long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games,” they said. “The IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.”
The organization’s announcement comes on the heels of a new anti-gay law passed by Russia’s lower house that would possibly jail any foreigner perceived to be promoting homosexuality. The law still needs to pass the country’s upper house and be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but it is expected to pass by the end of the month.
Russia already bans the promulgation of homosexuality among its citizens and has banned gay pride parades for the next 100 years. The Sochi Olympics will take place from February 7 - 23 next year. Sergio N. Candido