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With the opening ceremony but days away, the controversy surrounding Russia’s anti-gay legislation continues to be at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. With this being an Olympics that has already come in for a lot of criticism in regards to the ever spiraling costs and not to mention the environmental damage, more controversy is the last thing these games need.
Whilst everyone is supposed to be gearing themselves up for weeks of sport, and some of the toughest sports at that, Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws are diverting everyone’s attention on to something that really should not be an issue, the anti-gay laws in Sochi Olympic Games.
Russia’s anti-gay laws explained
Even though homosexuality is not outlawed in Russia, it does seem as though it is frowned upon by the people in authority, and with the awarding of the Olympics to the Russian city of Sochi, new laws were brought in. The overriding element of the anti-gay laws is the part which states that it is illegal for someone to promote what are perceived to be, “non-traditional relationships.” The Russian government have vehemently denied that they are criminalizing gay relationships; however, they state that they are just protecting the morals of under 18’s from what is perceived to be homosexual propaganda.
The Reaction of the Rest of the World
When these anti-gay laws in Russia were passed, there was a certain amount of outrage and disbelief amongst athletes and politicians alike across the world. American president, Barrack Obama was one of the first people to condemn the laws, and he went on to ask the Russians to think about the Olympic spirit, what it stands for and how their laws conflict with that.
Will the Laws Affect People who attend the Games?
If the law is enforced in its entirety during the Olympics, then it could very well be used with impunity against spectators and athletes alike. In fact there is even a specific part of the law which allows the detention of foreigners for up to 2 weeks, should they be found guilty of promoting pro-gay relationships.
It remains to be seen whether the new anti-gay legislation is going to have a detrimental effect on the games as a whole, and whether all of the controversy will detract from what is supposed to be a global sporting spectacle, however, a lot of people’s attitudes to Russia have been tarnished for ever.
At the end, I suggest you watch the Youtube video of how was dispersal gay parade in Moscow in 2011.
Stay tuned, folks!