Obama: We Shouldn’t Boycott Olympics Over Russian Anti-Gay Law


(Credit: AP)

obama5Since the passage of anti-gay legislation in Russia in recent months, LGBT activists across the world have pondered how to react ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics there, with some calling for a boycott and others calling for concerted action at the Games that will make it the “gayest Olympics ever.”

President Obama weighed in Friday, saying at a news conference that he does “not think it is appropriate to boycott the Olympics,” and making it clear that he’s in the “gayest Olympics ever” camp.

“We’ve got a bunch of Americans out there who are training hard who are doing everything they can to succeed,” Obama said. “Nobody’s more offended than me about some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you’ve been seeing in Russia. But as I said just this week, I’ve spoken out about that not just with respect to Russia but with a number of other countries, where we continue to do work with them but we have a strong disagreement on this issue.”

He continued: “One thing I’m really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which i think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes were seeing there. And if Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker.”

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Obama first spoke out on the issue Tuesday, when he told The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno that he had “no patience” for the Russian laws, which he said “are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country.”