IOC President Jacques Rogge Demands Clarification Of “Gay Propaganda” Laws

RoggeAFP_2284647bThere’s been much confusion regarding Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws and how they’ll apply to tourists, members of the media, and athletes during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

The IOC originally claimed that anti-gay laws would have no bearing on those traveling to the city next year, but some Russian officials stirred up doubt with their own interpretation of how the laws may apply to foreigners.

This week, Olympic president Jacques Rogge (above) has demanded clarification by asking Dmitry Kozak—the Russian politician who organized the Games—to offer “written confirmation of reassurances.” Kozak was the original source that claimed Russian law would not apply to foreigners, though he has no influence over the implementation of such policy.

At a news conference in Moscow on Monday, Rogge suggested that details may have been lost in translation:

“We have received all reassurances emanating from Mr Dmitry Kozak, who is in charge of the organisation of the Games in Sochi. We asked for written confirmation of these reassurances. We received them yesterday, we have studied it this morning but there are still uncertainties and we have decided to ask for more clarification as of today. So we are waiting for this clarification before having final judgement on these reassurances.”

Oh, right. That must be it. The language.

This is coming from the man who also promised the world that coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing would not be censored by the Chinese government. It was.

But you can’t fault the old buzzard. Language has never really been his strong suit.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Vancouver Olympics 2014!!! Move the whole damn Olympics out of Russia and let them sit with empty buildings and seats… damn idiots!

  • Cam

    This is a B.S. request by the IOC. They originally lied and claimed that the laws meant nothing. Then the backlash became larger than they anticipated, so now they have send Russia instructions on what to say, and have now publicly asked for “Clarification” hoping Russia will use the script they were sent.

    These laws don’t need clarification, the Russian govt. was extremely clear about what they were and what they do. Gays can basically be arrested for doing anything that in anyway could be seen as “Gay Propaganda” i.e. anything that would let anybody know they are gay, holding hands, hugging, etc…

  • balehead

    Too busy counting his money to listen to language any ways….

  • Brian

    Jacques Rogge is a disgrace who should resign. Under previous leaders, the IOC has a history of bribery and corruption.

    And, frankly, I couldn’t care less about the athletes. I’m more concerned about the Russian gays who have to live under these heinous anti-gay laws on a permanent basis.

  • Pucifer

    Allow me to translate what Mr. Rogge really meant: “We don’t give a fig about the rights of gay Russians. Just promise us you won’t harass or arrest any gay athletes or tourists during the Olympics. After the games are over, you can go back to harassing, arresting, and murdering gay Russians. Deal?”

  • offbeatoh86

    Finally, the IOC does something!

  • Horse Lips

    I agree 100% with Brian. What’s going on in Russia is disgusting beyond words.

  • Stevenw

    I’m glad to see all this furore – nevertheless, expecting the IOC to do anything is short-sighted. China was never exactly an oasis of gay rights.

    Also I wonder if top-down change is possible. Will changing Putin’s mind change the general public of Russia’s mind?

  • iMort

    Russia is controlled by thugs and mobsters. There is too much money to be had, nothing will be done and the games will not be moved. Human rights violations will persist and all the talk and protests will be for not. Boycotts and embargo’s do not work as long as there is hate and intolerance in the countries where Russia does business. But if it makes you feel better to gripe and believe that those thugs give one wit what the world thinks so be it.

  • Charles175

    @Dakotahgeo: Even better yet, once the games get underway get as many people as possible to come out irrelevant of whether they are gay or straight. This would force the hand of the government and potentially collapse the games. The $50 billion that the Russians have invested in this event is very important for that country’s economy. Let them with the arrogance and self-righteousness of these laws be their undoing.

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  • Billysees

    @iMort: 9

    What you’ve said makes good sense.

    Russia does have some serious problems with the views and attitudes of others.

    Loveless societies bring fear, hate, shame and sorrow on all their people.

  • Polaro

    Lets see how this plays out. Seems like the IOC may not just rolling over based on the story.

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