Russia’s Anti-gay Law Could Hit Olympic Sponsors

Russia: What It Means

Putin on Thursday maintained that the law bans only “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” He argued that it is “no infringement on the rights of sexual minorities” and insisted that European laws allowing gay marriage contribute to population declines. The Russian law has prompted calls for boycotts of the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in Sochi. Putin said while some European nations have allowed gay marriages, “the Europeans are dying out … and gay marriages don’t produce children.” “Do you want to survive by accepting immigrants?” Putin said. “Society can’t absorb such a number of immigrants. Let us make our own choice, as we see it for our country.” The new Russian law imposes fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and 1 million rubles ($30,000) for organizations, plus stiffer penalties for propaganda on the Web or in the media. Foreigners who violate the law are also subject to fines, plus prison sentences of up to 15 days, deportation and denial of re-entry into Russia. The law does not outlaw gay sex or explicitly ban participation in gay pride parades or promotion of LGBT equality online. However, the definition of “propaganda” is vague and wearing a rainbow flag on the street or writing in a certain way about gay relationships on Facebook could be interpreted as propaganda. Putin made the comment at a conference of Russia experts in Valdai in northwestern Russia. He also made a joking reference to his friend, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was convicted in June of paying for sex with a minor and pressuring public officials to cover it up. “Berlusconi has faced a trial for living with women.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June, sparking global outrage and a wave of protests demanding a boycott of the Games, which will be held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi in February. There’s no sign of athletes staying away but others big names are distancing themselves from the event. Just this week pop singer Cher said she had refused an invitation to perform because of Russia’s anti-gay stance. Related: Bars worldwide boycott Russian vodka over anti-gay laws Putin said in an interview on state television in September that gay people would not be discriminated against at the Sochi Games. But that appears at odds with statements made by government officials that the anti-gay propaganda law will be enforced. The legislation gives authorities the power to impose fines as well as detain foreigners who are deemed to have breached the law before deporting them. Four Dutch tourists reportedly making a film about gay rights in Russia were arrested under the law in July. The other big Olympic sponsors are Visa ( V , Fortune 500 ), Samsung ( SSNLF ), Panasonic ( PCRFF ), General Electric ( GE , Fortune 500 ), Dow Chemical ( DOW , Fortune 500 ), Procter & Gamble ( PG , Fortune 500 ), Omega ( OCFN ) and Atos ( ATOS ). They’re staying tight-lipped about the issue in public but a senior official at the International Olympic Committee said this month that several had raised concerns about how the law could affect the Games. “I have heard a lot from the sponsors, especially the American sponsors, of what they are afraid of might happen,” IOC marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg said. “I think this could ruin a lot for all of us,” he added, saying the IOC would enforce its rules against demonstrations. Related: Olympics win boosts Japan stocks A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said the company has been “straightforward in our many discussions with the IOC about our expectations regarding safety and security [at the Games] …and will continue to engage directly with the IOC on this paramount priority.” Companies pay an estimated $100 million to become a major Olympic sponsor. They also pump in massive additional investment to support related marketing campaigns.

Oscars: Russia Selects Fyodor Bondarchuk’s ‘Stalingrad’ for Foreign Language Category

ST. PETERSBURG The Russian Oscar committee has announced Fyodor Bondarchuk’s World War II action-drama Stalingrad as the countrys contender in the best foreign-language movie Oscar race. our editor recommends Oscars: Australia Nominates ‘The Rocket’ in Foreign Language Category The $30 million Non-Stop Productions and Art Pictures Studio production is based on an original script by Ilya Tilkin and has no novelistic source. Tilkin studied museum archives and diaries of the Stalingrad Battle participants to write the script. The story involves the Germans trying to take a residential building in Stalingrad (now modern-day Volgograd) that has been stubbornly holding out with a remaining young female resident and several Russian soldiers. STORY: Hot ‘Stalingrad’ Director Signs With Resolution, Magnolia The house is based on the legendary Pavlov’s House, which was a fortified apartment building during the Battle of Stalingrad. It gained its name from Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, who commanded the platoon that occupied the building and defended it during the battle. The film features a fresh-faced young cast of relative unknowns in the Russian roles and veteran actors Heiner Lauterbach (Das Experiment) and Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist) as the two main German officers in the story. Ironically enough, Kretschmann, who has been typecast in Nazi roles, had already starred in a 1993 film called Stalingrad directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, in whichKretschmannplayed a lower-ranking soldier. Moreover, director Bondarchuk, also an actor, portrayed an Ivan in a little-seen 1989 Soviet Production also called simply Stalingrad. Slated to be released wide in Russia a minimum of 1,500 screens on Thursday, October 10, the film will be initially given a limited release in Volgograd as of Saturday, Sept. 28 and Moscow as of Wednesday, October 2 in order to meet Oscar release deadlines. The Chinese release of the film is planned at 3,200 screens an unprecedented number for a Russian film. The film was first screened in nearly-finished form (some end credit visuals were missing) on Thursday, Sept. 19 at St.

russia olympic rings

It could be two women holding hands as much as it could be a debate on the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. Paintings of Jupiter abducting Ganymede could be seen as corrupting. And don’t think for a second that foreigners are exempt. No matter whether you agree with it or not, a visitor is always subject to the laws of the country he or she is in, be it Russia or the United States. To prove the point, Russian authorities already incarcerated three Dutch tourists in the Arctic city of Murmansk who were making a documentary on LGBTQ rights in Russia. They found out quick, needless to say. Of course, this has castigated Russia by press both inside and out. I mean, my God, even National Geographic got in on the act, throwing up a list of the most deadly countries in the world for gays and lesbians — and when was the last time you heard of that magazine jumping on the political bandwagon? I just got it for the pictures. The really sad part about this is that Russia is a beautiful country. After the roller coaster ride it went through after the U.S.S.R. collapsed, the world was discovering its charms all over again. St. Petersburg was built from the first brick to be a spectacular city, and indeed, it is. Lake Baikal is a natural wonder.