CPH Post

News

No boycott of Winter Olympics despite anti-gay laws

The government has critised Russia over laws that discriminate against homosexuals


The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay is underway, but we have no idea how the torchbearer got away with wearing a rainbow tracksuit (Photo

December 18, 2013
11:13

by PS


The Winter Olympics in Sochi next year have been threatened with boycotts over Russia’s anti-homosexual laws, but the Danish culture minister has decided to attend.

“I am going to attend so that I can meet the Danish participants on their way into battle,” Marianne Jelved (R) told Politiken newspaper. “It’s a tradition among Danish culture ministers and I think it’s appropriate.”

While some leaders have said they would not attend – among them French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck – Jelved argues that it is the wrong approach.

READ MORE: Government and Prince Frederik speak out against Russia's anti-gay law

Critical dialogue
“We believe in engaging in critical dialogue. That means meeting face-to-face to discuss with the Russians. We can’t do this if we boycott them,” Jelved said.

Jelved said the issue was one of human rights, and that she would have no issue bringing it up if she met a Russian minister at the games, but that no meetings had been planned.

She added that the Danish government has strongly condemned Russian anti-homosexuality legislation that specifically bans homosexual “propaganda” targeted at children.

READ MORE: Beyond the Out Games, gay sportsmen remain in the closet

Approval to discriminate
Critics argues that the law could be used to suppress any openly homosexual acts and could put gay participants and attendees at the Games at risk of arrest or fines.

The former foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (SF), has called the law “an official stamp of approval to discriminate”, while Crown Prince Frederik – a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – said it would breach the Olympic charter if individual groups are discriminated against.

While the IOC has stated that it expects the Russian government to put the laws on hold, a Russian MP responsible for writing the law, Vitaly Milonov, countered that the government wouldn’t have the authority to do so.



Related stories



Latest Comments

I hope Denmark controls their program better than Canada - we too allow in...

(Dave Huntley on July 24, 2014 14:09)

Do I have to worry now?

(Abhijeet Mishra on July 24, 2014 11:28)

I really hope they've stopped letting both their helicopter pilots go on...

(Heidi Patterson on July 24, 2014 11:25)

The more energy the west produces for itself, the less it will stick it nose...

(July 24, 2014 08:49)

The adoption process in Australia is an utter joke. If you really want to...

(Christopher Millington on July 24, 2014 07:56)

Three years ago, after a prostate biopsy, I was given the diagnosis of...

(Lydia E Mill on July 23, 2014 23:46)

Awesome and rather sorely needed service! Wish I'd known about it before I...

(Heidi Patterson on July 23, 2014 16:55)

Here we go again. Pork farms around the world use antibiotics to keep their...

(Calvin Bernhardt on July 23, 2014 16:08)

Awesome !

(Tom Donde on July 23, 2014 14:43)

Lotte Bach and Henrik Hansen

(Calvin Bernhardt on July 23, 2014 14:24)