Free speech and the LGBT community in Russia are under attack by the Russian government. Countless LGBT Russians and their allies have been detained, arrested and in some cases beaten for protesting the wrong-doing of their government. Our attendance would only condone these hateful, bigoted and horrific acts. Although The United States Olympic Committee has stated "the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media," the law in Russia is clear:
'The new law allows the Russian government to arrest and detain gay or “pro-gay” foreigners for up to 14 days prior to their eventual expulsion from the country. Russian residents are subject to these fines and sentences as well.'
'The law, which was passed unanimously by both houses of Russia's Parliament, imposes a fine of up to 5,000 rubles ($168 USD) for any citizen who shares information discussing "non-traditional sexual relations" with minors that might cause a "distorted understanding" that gay and lesbian relationships are "socially equivalent" to heterosexual pairings, reports Russia's RIA Novosti. The fines increase if the person disseminating the "propaganda" is a state or legal official, rising all the way to 50,000 rubles ($1,530 USD) for an official promoting such information to children.'
'Any individual using mass media or the Iinternet to share information about LGBT identities can be subject to fines up to 100,000 rubles ($3,050 USD), while officials are subject to fines twice that amount, and legal entities face a 1 million ruble fine or 90-day suspension for discussing LGBT people.'
If the United States Olympic Committee attends the 2014 Olympics in Russia, they will be ultimately condoning these extreme acts of homophobia.