The State Department has issued a travel warning for LGBT people who plan on attending the 2014 Russian winter games in Sochi.
In June 2013, Russia’s State Duma passed a law banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors. The U.S. government understands that this law applies to both Russian citizens and foreigners in Russia. Russian citizens found guilty of violating the law could face a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,100). Foreign citizens face similar fines, up to 14 days in jail, and deportation. The law makes it a crime to promote LGBT equality in public, but lacks concrete legal definitions for key terms, and provides no clarity as to which actions will be interpreted by authorities as “LGBT propaganda.”
The United States places great importance on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, as well as anyone attending or participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The U.S. calls on Russia to uphold its international commitments regarding freedom of assembly and association and freedom of expression, now and in the future.
Russia has in place what it calls a “Steel curtain” with thousands of troops enforcing their laws around Sochi. That includes the horrifically disempowering “gay propaganda” laws.
It would be fair to assume had this protest occurred near Sochi the participants would have been whisked away and not seen for days, if ever.