In light of the recent speculation surrounding Russia’s gay propaganda laws, a consular advisor will be assisting New Zealand’s gay athletes at the games.
Labour MP Louisa Wall successfully led a delegation of opposition MPs to ask Foreign Minister Murray McCully for his help in the protection of LGBT people at the Sochi Games in February. McCully confirmed the athletes would be receiving protection from a New Zealand diplomat.
New Zealand is sending openly gay speedskater Blake Skjellerup to the games who, in an interview with Queerty.com said, “despite these new laws coming into place in Russia I’m not going to go back into the closet.” He has also previously stated he plans to wear a pride pin at the games, despite the possibility of arrest.
Louisa Wall praised McCully’s decision saying, “The right of all our New Zealand team members to fully express themselves within the context of the Olympics, an international institution of such esteem, is fundamental to our full participation as equal citizens in the world.
“This includes being proud to be who you are and unless one is fully able to express all they are, then this constraint can compromise the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for `Faster, Higher, Stronger’.”
Vladimir Putin’s recent gay propaganda law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to minors has caused controversy since June.
Putin has insisted the law does not infringe on human rights, and is designed for the protection of children.
Russian officials have stated that Russia will not discriminate against homosexuals at the Games, yet they also claim the new law will continue to be enforced, leaving a confused idea of what will be considered propaganda throughout the event.