Russia’s deputy PM welcomes gays at the games, but asks: “please do not touch kids”

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Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak, told a news conference in Sochi on Thursday, February 6, that gay Olympians and fans should not be worried about discrimination but added, “Please do not touch kids. That’s the only thing.”

He claimed Russia does not discriminate against anyone based on his or her religion or sexual orientation.

Following this declaration, he was quick to state, “We are all grownups, and any adult has his or her right to understand their sexual activity. Please do not touch kids. That’s the only thing. During the opening ceremony, during the closing ceremony, during the sports events, I hope that we will not see such problems.”

Kozak’s remarks echo and affirm President Vladimir Putin’s similar previous statements urging the LGBT community to “leave the children in peace.”

Putin has continually reiterated his stance on the anti-gay propaganda law, introduced in June 2013, that bans any “propaganda” of non-traditional sexual relations to minors.

On February 6, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the International Olympics Committee to say the games should show the power of sports to unite regardless of sexual orientation.

“We must oppose the arrest, imprisonment, and discriminatory restrictions [that LGBT people]face,” he said.

The Olympics competition began on Thursday, February 6, and the opening ceremony will be held on Friday night.

429Magazine

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