Obama Against Olympic Boycott

Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Obama said Friday that he does not support a boycott of the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia over the country's anti-gay propaganda laws.

Some human-rights activists have called for a boycott of the Winter Games in Sochi. But Obama said that barring U.S. athletes from the Olympics would be counterproductive.

"I do not think it's appropriate to boycott the Olympics," the president told reporters at a news conference at the White House.

"Nobody is more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you've been seeing in Russia," he added. "One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes in bringing home the gold, or silver, or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes we're seeing there."

Obama added that if Russia excludes gay and lesbian athletes from their Olympic squad, "It would probably make their team weaker."

The Russian government has sent mixed signals about whether it would enforce its anti-gay propaganda laws on Olympic athletes and spectators. The provision bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," including gay-pride rallies and speaking to people under 18 about homosexuality.

Punishment for foreign nationals could include time in prison, a $3,000 fine and deportation, according to reports.

Obama said this week that he has "no patience" for anti-gays law like Russia's during a recent interview with NBC's Jay Leno.

"I've been very clear that when … you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country," he said.

NOT SURE HOW TO GET FUSION ON YOUR TV? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!
Alt

Viewing America’s population through the lens of diversity, we will cover the social, cultural and political impact of various racial and ethnic groups in this country.

comments powered by Disqus

Immigration Reform

Boehner Aide: Immigration Remains on Ice

“Every time the president ignores the law, like the 38 times he has on Obamacare, our members look up and go, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t have immigration reform without strong border security and internal enforcement, and how can we trust the president to actually obey the law and enforce the law that we would write,’” Boehner said in an interview with Fox News last week.