Created on Thursday, 01 August 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says a new law cracking down on gay rights activism will be enforced during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Gay rights activist Ken Kidd, of Manhattan, chants slogans during a demonstration in front of the Russian consulate in New York, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Russian vodka and the Winter Olympics in Sochi are the prime targets as gays in the United States and elsewhere propose boycotts and other tactics to convey their outrage over Russia's intensifying campaign against gay-rights activism. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mutko's statement on Thursday follows assurances from the International Olympic Committee that neither athletes nor visitors to the games would be subject to discrimination under the law.
In an interview with the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the minister said: "An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn't banned from coming to Sochi. But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable."
The contentious law, which imposes hefty fines on those providing information about the gay community to minors or holding gay pride rallies, was signed by President Vladimir Putin last month.