Jean-Claude Killy (left), head of the IOC commission to monitor progress for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (right) attend a news conference in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday.© REUTERS/ Nina Zotina
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WASHINGTON, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Scathing comments from gay and human rights activists began spewing out across the Internet and social media outlets Thursday, shortly after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Russia’s controversial law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to minors does not violate the anti-discrimination guarantees in the Olympic charter.
“If this law doesn’t violate the IOC’s charter, then the charter is completely meaningless,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization which advocates on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, in a statement.
The Kremlin maintains the new law is aimed at protecting children and does not prevent adults from making their own choices, but critics claim the legislation is part of a much wider crackdown on homosexuality in Russia.
Many have expressed concern about what impact the law might have on LGBT athletes and spectators at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
“The safety of millions of LGBT Russians and international travelers is at risk, and by all accounts the IOC has completely neglected its responsibility to Olympic athletes, sponsors and fans from around the world. The IOC and its new president, Thomas Bach, are putting the good reputation of the Olympic Games and its corporate sponsors in jeopardy,” Griffin said.
“The Olympics has become an agent to oppression,” said one message posted on Twitter. Another said the IOC had “washed its hands” on Russia.
A third posting read, “Meanwhile in Russia: Gay rights activists arrested over Sochi 2014 protest,” with a link to a story about gay protesters being arrested in Sochi this week.
Meanwhile in Russia: Gay rights activists arrested over Sochi 2014 protest - http://t.co/uhovV3IjjE— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) September 26, 2013
Following a tenth and final inspection of Sochi this week, the IOC proclaimed the law in question does not violate the Olympic discrimination clause.
"The IOC doesn't have the right to discuss the laws that are in place in the country hosting the games, so unless the charter is violated we are fully satisfied," said Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, at a Thursday press conference in Sochi, where the games will begin on Feb. 7, 2014.
Sochi passed the inspection with flying colors, getting a glowing review from Killy.
"Our impression is unanimous, everything is very impressive," Killy said.
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- Mikhail1228Marketing the Gay lifestyle to little children is wrong!23:12, 26/09/2013Why do people in the West think that little children need to hear about the gay lifestyle and why does it need to be promoted to them? I have to laud President Putin for having the balls to stand up against this shit and for standing up for traditional families, children and the Orthodox Christian Church. Too bad our leaders in the US are too weak and spineless to do the same. Increasingly, religious Russians look on America, with its Hollywood values and celebrations of homosexuality as a sick society in moral decline and a focus of cultural and moral evil in the world.
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Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.