August 1st, 2013
09:08 PM ET
9 months ago

Senator to introduce resolution denouncing anti-LGBT law in Russia

(CNN) – Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate to oppose a new law in Russia that bans the public discussion of same-sex rights and relationships.

The nonbinding resolution calls for Russia to guarantee that athletes and spectators "will not experience anti-LGBT discrimination" when the country hosts the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, according to Merkley's spokesperson, Jamal Raad.

Initial legislative language has been drafted, but Merkley's office will use the August recess to finish working on the bill and gather sponsors. Then they'll introduce it after Congress returns in September, Raad said.

As written, the Russian law, which was implemented last month, seeks to prevent "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors."

The law has seen strong criticism from human rights groups around the world. Some are calling for a boycott of the Olympics, while a number of bars are refusing to serve Russian vodka.

While the International Olympic Committee has said Russia will not enforce the law during the Sochi Games, the country's sports minister said the opposite Thursday, asserting foreign nationals will be subject to the law.

"Outrageous. Olympic discrimination against LGBT athletes and spectators is 100% unacceptable," Merkley tweeted in response to an article about the sports minister saying gay athletes will be "held accountable" if they "propagandize" in the streets.

– CNN's Lisa Desjardins and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Russia • Senate
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. California

    And the true haters come forth.

    August 1, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Michael Benjamin

    The country is in the toilet while the Senate fiddles with meaningless resolutions.

    August 2, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  3. Getoverit

    This is a joke, right?

    August 2, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  4. Thomas

    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian queen who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012.There was a time when Vladimir Putin's macho antics inspired gay pride among Russians.

    August 2, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  5. @RI_Roger

    We don't have enough of our own problems in our country, our elected officials have to stick their nose in other country's business. Why do they think their views are morally superior to the values of others.

    Senator Merkley needs to be voted out of office for the mere fact that he does not realize his role is to advocate for the American people not the Russian people. Where's the focus on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs????

    August 2, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  6. HenryMiller

    What they do in Russia is none of our business.

    August 2, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  7. jsmoulder

    Political correctness does not rule Russia like it does the United States. One day the people of the United States are going to wake up and realize how much political correctness has destroyed this once great nation.

    August 2, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  8. kirk

    So now were telling the world how to think. we can't even get our political system to work marginally. Yet let's tell the world how they should think and act. Our politicians sold out big time.and we keep voting them into power based on what comes out if their mouths knowing its all b.s. but still vote gop,:

    August 2, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |