Visit Russia: Go to Jail?

7.9.2013

By Neal Broverman

If you visit Russia and dare to hold your partner's hand, you could land in jail, according to reports.

Russia's slide into the dark ages continued with President Vladimir Putin signing an antigay bill that bans the promotion of homosexuality and includes punishments for those visiting the country.

The law, signed earlier this month, bans anything that places homosexuality in a positive light, including flying rainbow flags or coming out in a public setting. For any LGBT person visiting Russia (no comment), they should should be aware the new law "contains a provision permitting the government to arrest and detain gay, or pro-gay, foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from the country," the site Skift reports.

The news out of Moscow is especially troubling considering the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, located on the Black Sea near Turkey, is only seven months away. What will happen if a gay athlete kisses his or her partner or spouse after winning a medal? Will the International Olympic Committee keep queer athletes and attendees safe? Or should LGBT athletes boycott the Olympics? How about all nations concerned about human rights? Stay tuned.

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