Report says gay tourists in Russia subject to arrest

Gay tourists in Russia subject to arrest after Putin outlaws anything considered pro-gay

By Thomas Steinmetz

Created Jul 2 2013 – 12:09am

LGBT activist call for tourists to boycott Russia and the winter Olympics

Gays in Russia

This is a warning for visitors and tourists wanting to travel to Russia. Anything considered pro-gay, from gay-affirmative speech, to gays holding hands in public, to even wearing rainbow suspenders is now illegal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law yesterday one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet.

The new law, coming only seven months before Russia is to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi expecting visitors and tourists from around the world.

Russian police detain a gay rights activist during an attempt to hold the unauthorized gay pride parade on May 28, 2011 in Moscow, Russia.

The law also contains a provision permitting the government to arrest and detain gay, or pro-gay, foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from the country. That provision ought to send chills to anyone gay, lesbians, bisexual or transgender who is planning to attend or participate in the Winter Olympics.

It is now literally illegal in Russia to say that you are gay. It is illegal to kiss your partner in public – say, after you win a gold medal. It is illegal for a gay athlete to wear the rainbow flag. Or even to acknowledge during an interview that they are gay – or for the foreign press to acknowledge it – unless they mention that gay sexual orientation in a negative way.

Then there’s the seemingly officially-sanctioned violence against gay, bisexual and trans people in Russia. It’s been made clear for years now that Russian government will turn a blind eye towards anti-gay violence, and many have alleged that the Russian government is actually behind such violence. Will gay Olympic athletes and gay Olympic fans be targeted for violence while in Russia? No one knows.

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