U.S. Senator's Resolution Targets Russia's Antigay Law

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com August 02 2013 2:51 PM ET

A U.S. senator is drafting a resolution that would urge the International Olympic Committee to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT legislation, reports Buzzfeed.

Sen. Jeff Merkley's (D-OR) legislation would ask the Olympic committee oppose the law, which bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," including Pride rallies, according to the Los Angeles Times.  It would also demand the Russian government guarantee the safety of Olympic athletes and spectators. If passed, his resolution would be the first official acknowledgement and repudiation of the anti-LGBT Russian laws by the U.S. Senate.

He prepared the resolution in response to a statement by Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg legislator of the United Russia Party, who declared on July 30 that Russia’s newly approved gay propaganda law would be enforced during the Sochi Olympic Games.

“An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn't banned from coming to Sochi," Milonov told Russian newswire R-Sport, reports the Associated Press. "But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable."

Milonov’s words contradict previous assurances by Russian officials that foreigners visiting the Games would be exempt from the law, which was signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin last month.

“Outrageous. Olympic discrimination against LGBT athletes and spectators is 100% unacceptable,” Merkley stated Thursday on Twitter.