WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) demanded that the Obama administration stop dragging its feet and release a specific plan to ensure the safety of LGBT athletes and guests attending the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. This had become necessary after the Russian Interior Ministry confirmed it would enforce the country’s anti-gay laws prohibiting “homosexual propaganda” and punish anyone found in violation of the law, followed by a statement by the International Olympic Committee declaring athletes who express opposition to the Russian laws or support for gay individuals could face sanctions under Olympic guidelines.
LCR Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo released the following statement urging the Obama administration to ensure the safety of the LGBT community during the games:
The Russian government’s statement that no one will be discriminated against at the Winter Olympics is nothing more than a hollow assurance from a governmental body that is so anti-gay it has established a law that allows gays — and gay allies — to be harassed, verbally and physically assaulted, and jailed. The International Olympic Committee’s recent threat to punish athletes who declare their support for gay rights is also shameful, and a sign that the IOC cannot be trusted to guarantee the safety of our athletes and supporters at this critical time.
Americans dumping vodka in the streets and calling for an Olympic boycott are not going to keep anyone who is gay in Russia safe during the Games, but it does show how frustrated our nation is with a President absent of action. President Obama and the State Department need to present a defined plan that guarantees the safety of our nation’s Olympic competitors and pressures the IOC never to put the gay athletes of the world in a situation where their safety is in question ever again.