Olympic Village "Mayors" Go For the Gold in Anti-Gay Discrimination
A "mayor" of the Sochi mountin's Olympic Village has defended Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, saying gays should stop promoting it to sponsors. According to a recent article in BuzzFeed, gold medal-winning skater and Russian parliament lawmaker Svetlana Zhurova told Russian TV channel Dozhd that she "voted to stop people promoting [the gay lifestyle] to minors."
Zhurova said in that article that many European politicians and Russian celebrities privately supported the law, but had been told by their sponsors to keep quiet about it. She didn't take the advice.
"I just think they shouldn't show a cartoon on TV -- excuse me, I have two boys -- where a king loves another king," said Zhurova. She went on to tell a "joke" about the law: "If someone says he's Napoleon, he'll be taken straight to the appropriate institution. If he says he's a woman, then basically nothing happens to him, he's fighting for his rights."
Putin's anti-gay propaganda legislation bans "promoting non-traditional relationships to minors," but in effect makes any public discussion about LGBT rights or relationships a crime punishable by fines or imprisonment.
According to the Advocate, pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, "mayor" for the sea-level Olympics village also caused controversy when she defended the law, saying "If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people. We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys."
Isinbayeva later told the Associated Press that her comments were misunderstood, and that "people should respect the laws of other countries particularly when they are guests. I respect the views of my fellow athletes and let me state in the strongest terms that I am opposed to any discrimination against gay people."