"SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says gays should feel welcome at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, but they must "leave the children in peace."
Putin told volunteers Friday that gays visiting Sochi "can feel calm and at ease," and vowed that there would be no discrimination at the games. But he emphasized that, according to a law banning homosexual "propaganda" among minors, gays cannot express their views on gay rights issues to anyone underage.
Putin and other politicians have defended the June propaganda law as a protection of child rights, but critics believe that the law discriminates against sexual minorities.
In the wake of international outcry against the bill, Russian authorities have put limits on the right to protest during the Sochi games, which run Feb. 7-23. " ~ HuffPost World 1/17/14
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I wonder if all of Putin's protestations on gays hasn't turned into a very convenient smoke screen to cover up the thuggery and outright stealing in preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. I am sure Putin and his band of merry men are smiling all the way to the bank.
The cost of the ski jump alone went from $40 million in the original budget to $265 million at last count. And that's a lot of Rubles!
In the end when all of the cheering is over and the Closing Ceremony has come and gone maybe Russia will be left with a nice Black Sea resort that the rich of Russia (aka Putin's cronies) can enjoy as they toss back their vodka shots and remember the good old days.