Russian gay games to be held right after Sochi Olympics
While the Sochi Winter Olympics have become a focal point for international criticism of Russia's antigay legislation, a Russian LGBT organization has announced how it will face off against its country's discrimnatory laws.
The Russian LGBT Sport Federation is planning to hold the Russian Open Games for Russian LGBT amateur athletes, after the Sochi Olympics closing ceremony, from February 26 to March 2, 2014.
Viktor Romanov, chairman of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation board, told the Associated Foreign Press that they aren't breaking the law.
"The law does not cover us because we are not doing propaganda of homosexuality, but propaganda of sport and a healthy lifestyle," Romanov said.
Unlike gay Pride parades, the organization does not have to seek permission from Russian authorities because it is a sports event.
The organizers, however, will inform the Russian sports ministry, the Moscow civic government, and the police of their event.
They are also hoping athletes, officials, and journalists from around the world will travel to Russia to attend their games.
"We will be grateful to any official or any famous figure who comes to support us," he said.
In response to international concerns about LGBT people visiting Russia for the Olympics (including Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson who issued a statement in July), Russian president Vladmir Putin stated on October 28 that all people, including LGBT people, will be welcome in Russia.
Meanwhile, Russia has suspended or banned adoptions by parents, even if straight, from countries that permit same-sex marriage. Adoptions by Swedish and American citizens have been banned while adoptions by Canadian citizens are in limbo.