MOSCOW – Russia’s Interior Ministry, which controls the police force, said Monday that the country’s controversial anti-gay “propaganda” law will be enforced during the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
“The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully,” said an Interior Ministry statement issued on Monday, and reported by Ria Novosti.
The International Olympic Committee previously claimed it had received assurances from top government officials that Sochi 2014 athletes and guests will not be affected, prompting Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to insist no one is exempt from the law.
Russia’s contentious law was signed by President Vladimir Putin in late June, imposing fines on individuals accused of spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, and imposes penalties for those who express these views online or in the news media.
Gay pride rallies also are banned, as are public display of affection, including holding hands, between persons of the same gender.