Russia's Interior Ministry, which controls the police force, confirmed Monday that the country's controversial anti-gay law will be enforced during the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Confusion has reigned over how the country intends to act during the February 7-23 Winter Games after President Vladimir Putin signed legislation in June that bans the promotion of homosexuality to minors. The International Olympic Committee first claimed it had received assurances from top government officials that Sochi 2014 athletes and guests will not be affected, prompting Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to insist no one is exempt from the law. "The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully," said an Interior Ministry statement issued on Monday.
The head of Russia's National Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov stated it plainly. "If a person does not put across his views in the presence of children, no measures against him can be taken," Zhukov said. "People of nontraditional sexual orientations can take part in the competitions and all other events at the Games unhindered, without any fear for their safety whatsoever."
Okay. So, what about, say, an entire
rowing ICE JAVELIN team wearing rainbow flag pins during a ceremony attended by and broadcast to millions of people, including children? Does the ice javelin team get arrested? Are the cameramen and ceremony producers, who disseminated and promoted the rainbow pins arrested? Are adults who explain what a rainbow flag means to a Russian kid arrested? Can we just arrest everyone now and get it over with?
The 2014 Winter Olympics: Whatever happens, it will be an amazing thing to behold(TM).