Around three hundred gay rights protesters gathered outside the Russian consulate in the Belgian city of Antwerp on Friday to protest against recently introduced anti-gay laws in Russia.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin, prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and imposes fines on those organising gay pride marches.
The protest organiser, Marcia Poelman, said that “the law is so vaguely formulated that you can use the law to criminalise every expression of being gay or lesbian.” She added that it is a way to “erase homosexuality” from people’s minds and make it “invisible.”
The law has been heavily criticised internationally with many calls for protests or a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games due to be held in the Russian resort of Sochi and the World Athletics Championships in Moscow that start this weekend. The International Olympic Committee has said it wants clarification of how the law will be applied.
Jacques Rogge from the I.O.C. said: “The Olympic Charter is very clear. It says that sport is a human right and should be available to everybody regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The games themselves should be open for all, so our position is very clear.”
Russia has hit back at critics and played down the claims of discrimination.
“Nobody has ever got arrested for his sexual orientation here in Russia. Don’t succumb to the hysteria that perverts across Europe have started. Our highest paid-artists have a non-traditional sexual orientation and they have not faced any discrimination,” explained Vitaly Milonov, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.
Russia has made the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi a top priority for the promotion of a modern image of the country. However, with the World Athletic Championships in Moscow beginning this weekend amid protests that image appears to have been tarnished.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1‘Allahu Akbar’ lone wolf attacker shot dead by French police
- 2Who is the EU’s worst at spending Brussels’ billions?
- 3ISIL fighters ‘flee’ Iraq’s Sinjar as Peshmerga troops ‘make gains’
- 4New laws to ‘wipe out’ militants after Pakistan school massacre
- 5New Romanian President Klaus Iohannis vows to tackle corruption
- 1Rosetta team is euronews’ people of 2014
- 2Pakistanis protest against Taliban as army intensifies offensive in north-west
- 3‘Allahu Akbar’ lone wolf attacker shot dead by French police
- 4Australia: two hostages and gunman dead after police storm Sydney siege café
- 5Putin answers press questions on Ukraine, NATO and the Russian economy
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Le Pen: I admire ‘cool head’ Putin’s resistance to West’s new Cold War | euronews, interview
- 3Watch: Passengers ‘push-start’ frozen plane in Siberia | euronews, world news
- 4Which countries in Europe cause the most air pollution damage? | euronews, world news
- 5McCain blasts Europe’s approach to Ukraine conflict ‘a joke’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 6Moldova pro-EU parties take narrow lead in elections | euronews, world news
- 7NATO joins search for ‘Russian submarine’ off Scottish coast | euronews, world news
- 8Ukraine reports accident at Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant | euronews, world news
- 9Grenoble: Europe’s first ad-free city | euronews, world news
- 10Crude awakening: Romania’s Black Sea oil and gas finds fuel Europe’s energy hopes | euronews, reporter
- 11European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 12The American Century comes to an end as China becomes the world’s largest economy | euronews, economy
- 13Israeli warplanes hit targets in Syria | euronews, world news
- 14Germans demand honour for Turkish woman beaten to death | euronews, world news
- 15Chechen ‘death’ unit fighting with rebels in eastern Ukraine | euronews, world news
- 16International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 17Belgium’s former queen Fabiola dies at 86 | euronews, world news
- 18Portugal: Ex-PM José Socrates held in corruption probe | euronews, world news
- 19Catalonia announces new ‘independence plan’ | euronews, world news
- 20Pakistan Taliban ‘kill over 100’ in Peshawar school attack | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 08:22 CET South Korea nuclear plant operator says hacked, but no risk to…
- 08:07 CET Man stages new protest on ledge of St. Peter’s in Vatican
- 07:38 CET China issues property registration rules to aid anti-graft drive
- 07:04 CET British tsunami brothers use funky footwear to help children – TRFN
- 06:55 CET Court orders partner of Sydney hostage-taker jailed
- 05:22 CET Senior Chinese leader to visit Vietnam amid sea tension
- 05:07 CET China foreign minister says willing to help Russia
- 03:47 CET China tells U.S. opposes all forms of cyber attacks, ‘terrorism’