The dangers of Russia’s anti-gay laws have been exaggerated, Canadian International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told Metro Jan 29.
Russia, he says, has been judged unfairly because many other countries treat gay people far worse.
“In Malaysia, you can be put to death. In Nigeria, you can be put in jail for God knows how long,” he says. “So it’s a target of convenience with respect to Russia. Not that I approve of the law, but putting it on a scale of one to 10 of odious laws, it’s not way up there near 10.”
Russia’s federal law against gay propaganda, passed last year, effectively bans supporting gay people in public.
The founder of a Russian online support network for LGBT youth was charged under the law Jan 30 because she promoted “unconventional sexual relations among minors, resulting in information aimed at developing juveniles to explore unconventional sexualities.”
Earlier this week, a Russian newspaper editor was fined for publishing a quote from a gay teacher who said that being gay is normal.