olympics
Politics

Russian U.N. Ambassador Speaks Out On Anti-LGBT Laws

The anti-LGBT propaganda law will remain in effect during the Winter Olympics, the ambassador says. “The Russian government is endangering Russia’s international reputation, and possibly their Olympic ambitions, by not taking seriously the global outcry against these laws,” All Out head says in response.

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

WASHINGTON — Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said the country’s anti-LGBT laws would remain in effect during the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in a polite, but confrontational meeting Thursday with the head of All Out, the international LGBT rights group.

All Out had planned to deliver a petition with more than 340,000 signatures to Churkin, but Churkin came outside and addressed the group’s executive director, Andre Banks, with members of the media on hand for All Out’s news conference about the petition delivery.

Echoing comments made earlier Thursday by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko that reporters should “calm down” in their coverage of the laws, All Out officials noted that Churkin said Russia supports nondiscrimination but that he added that the anti-LGBT propaganda law would remain in effect during the games.

After the meeting, Banks said in a statement, “The Ambassador seemed in denial about Russian citizens being fined and jailed under this new anti-gay law. The Russian government is endangering Russia’s international reputation, and possibly their Olympic ambitions, by not taking seriously the global outcry against these laws.”

Of the greater impact of such laws, Banks added, “When the government sanctions discrimination, hate crimes flourish. We recently saw the lurid torture and death of a gay Russian man captured on video. How much more will world leaders endure before speaking out?”

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

All Out’s Andre Banks held a news conference before approaching the office of the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations.

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

"Black or white, #gay or straight" Russian ambassador says #equality is for all. But with fines, arrests, beatings? We're not buying it.

— allout (@All Out)

Andrew Kelly / Reuters

Ambassador wanted to compare #Russia against other countries with anti- #gay laws. Those didn't pass their laws in 2013!

— allout (@All Out)

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

"If foreigners are violating [the homosexual propaganda law] they will be prosecuted under Russian law"

— allout (@All Out)

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

Worst part: he says pay attention to "what you're teaching your children in your own country". #Equality is for all ages, all people.

— allout (@All Out)

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

Ambassador to made it clear he didn't want to talk discrim on the ground, beyond #Olympics. Turned away when we mentioned Madonna fines!

— allout (@All Out)

Photo courtesy All Out / Sabelo Narasimhan.

Such a successful delivery at the residence of the Russian Ambassador! Thanks to you all tweeting along worldwide!

— allout (@All Out)

Andrew Kelly / Reuters

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