The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 4, 2013

Putin offers assurances on gay rights at Olympics

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin sought to ease concerns that Russia's new anti-gay law would be used to punish athletes who display rainbow flags during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, while insisting that gays are not discriminated against in his country.

"I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields," Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television late Tuesday. "We have absolutely normal relations, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary here."

He added that Russians love Tchaikovsky even though the composer was said to have been a homosexual. "Truth be told, we don't love him because of that, but he was a great musician and we all love his music," Putin said.

Putin offered to meet with members of the gay and lesbian community if they asked to see him.

The law on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," which Putin signed in July, makes it illegal to expose minors to information that portrays these relationships as normal or attractive. The law imposes hefty fines, while also subjecting foreign citizens to up to 15 days in prison.

While Russian officials have reassured the International Olympic Committee that Russia will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Feb. 7-23 Sochi Games, they also have said that the law will be enforced. This has left open the question of what would happen to athletes or fans if they made statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda.

In the interview at his country residence outside Moscow, Putin said that they would not be punished. But he clearly has no intention of allowing a gay pride parade during the Olympics. Last month, he signed a decree banning all demonstrations and rallies in Sochi throughout the Winter Games.

Text Only
AP Sports
  • Blackhawks Blues Hockey-6 [Duplicate] Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs ST. LOUIS (AP) — In the first period, Ryan Miller looked like the goalie who limped home 0-5. For the final 80 minutes, 26 seconds, the St. Louis Blues saw the cool, confident backstop they acquired to make the deep playoff run they've long sought. M

    April 18, 2014 12 Photos

  • Cardinals Nationals Baseball-9 [Duplicate] Wainwright throws 2-hitter, Cards beat Nats 8-0 WASHINGTON (AP) — Adam Wainwright was as close to unhittable as he's ever been. "I had pretty much everything working. My sinker was sinking, my four-seamer was four-seaming, my curveball was curving," Wainwright said. "My cutter was back. That was a

    April 18, 2014 6 Photos

  • Wild Avalanche Hockey-3 [Duplicate] Stastny leads Avs to 5-4 OT win over Wild DENVER (AP) — Paul Stastny sweated out the trade deadline, wondering if his big, expiring contract and Colorado's desire to beef up its blue line might lead to his departure from Denver. Instead, he stuck around to help the Avalanche end a four-year

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • NL Capsules SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hyun-Jin Ryu stretched his road scoreless streak to 26 innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Thursday to avoid a sweep. Ryu (3-1) struck out three and walked one on a season-high 112 pitches in s

    April 18, 2014

  • AL Capsules DETROIT (AP) — Ian Kinsler homered and drove in four runs, and the Detroit Tigers held on for a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. Justin Verlander (2-1) allowed three unearned runs in five innings, and the Tigers trailed 3-1 before

    April 18, 2014

  • Ricketts: Cubs not interested in move to suburbs NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts thinks a move to the suburbs might be lucrative but says his team remains committed to refurbishing century-old Wrigley Field. The Cubs won approval from Chicago's City Council last July for a $500 mill

    April 16, 2014

  • Cardinals Brewers Baseball-6 [Duplicate] Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cardinals starters are feeling right at home on the mound at Miller Park. A night after Lance Lynn shutout the Brewers, fellow hard-throwing right-hander Shelby Miller followed Tuesday by striking out seven and allowing three hits ov

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • NL Capsules CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays. First, the

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks BOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the fa

    April 16, 2014

  • Gay rights group sends petition to IOC LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More than 100,000 members of an international gay rights group have sent messages to the IOC urging changes to ensure that future Olympic host countries do not have discriminatory laws on their books. The group All Out re

    April 16, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National