US Senators urge IOC to reconsider ruling on Russian gay law
WASHINGTON, November 13 (RIA Novosti) – Twelve US senators have signed a letter urging the president of the International Olympic Committee to reconsider the organization’s ruling that Russia’s controversial law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships does not violate the anti-discrimination guarantees in the Olympic charter.
Expressing “deep concern” about the IOC’s September declaration that “as long as the Olympic Charter is upheld, we are fully satisfied,” the senators noted in the letter to IOC president Thomas Bach that the Olympic Charter requires the IOC to “’act against any form of discrimination’ – including equal rights for LGBT individuals.”
“[The] Russian law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ is clearly inconsistent with the Olympic Charter,” the senators added.
The Kremlin maintains that the new law is aimed at protecting children and does not prevent adults from making their own choices, but critics claim that the legislation is part of a much wider crackdown on homosexuality in Russia.
The letter, which was signed by 11 Democrats and one Republican, also urged the IOC to provide more information about how Russian authorities and the IOC would provide for the safety of LGBT athletes and spectators at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
“We are not reassured by vague public statements from some Russian Federation authorities that there will be no ‘discrimination,’ when the very nature of this law is discriminatory, and when other senior Russian Federation officials have publicly warned that those who ‘spread propaganda’ will ‘also be held accountable,’” the senators wrote in the letter, dated Friday.