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Sports Minister Says Russia Should Have Waited On 'Gay Propaganda' Law

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- Russia's sports minister has said that passing the so-called gay-propaganda law before the Winter Olympics in Sochi was a mistake.

Vitaly Mutko was quoted by Russian media on November 18 as saying Russian authorities "should have waited a little" before adopting the law, which has sparked calls from some quarters for a boycott of the February games.

Mutko also reportedly said that "it was possible to calculate how much resonance it would cause in the West" and that foreign opposition to the law reflects resentment of Russia's strength.

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A bill signed by President Vladimir Putin in June bans the promotion of "nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.

Gay activists believe the law unfairly targets the gay community, and international campaigns have been launched to discourage attendance at the Sochi Olympics.

Putin has said everything will be done to ensure gay and lesbian athletes and guests feel at ease, although officials have also suggested they cannot suspend enforcement of legislation.

With reporting by rbcdaily.ru and AP
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