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Russian deputy PM on gay rights in Sochi: ‘Leave the kids alone’

Thursday, February 6, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia — Russia’s deputy prime minister has confirmed the Kremlin’s view on gay rights in Sochi, asking athletes to “leave the kids alone.”

Kostas Tsironis, APRussian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak at a handover ceremony of the Olympic Flame in Athens' Panathinaiko Stadium, on  Oct. 5, 2013.

Kostas Tsironis, AP
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak at a handover ceremony of the Olympic Flame in Athens’ Panathinaiko Stadium, on Oct. 5, 2013.

Dmitry Kozak told a news conference Thursday that Russian organizers will not discriminate against visitors or athletes because of their sexuality, but he backed the government’s support for the so-called gay propaganda law.

Kozak said athletes are free to express their views and discuss their sexuality. However, he asked them to stay away from children, saying “leave the kids alone.”

Russia introduced a bill last year that outlawed the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Gay groups say the law has contributed to the intolerance of sexual minorities in Russia.

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