It’s good that this is getting the Senate’s attention. Merkley’s resolution will denounce the anti-gay laws passed in Russia, and also ask the IOC to both denounce the law and give a full guarantee that no one in Sochi will be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation:

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Merkley plans to introduce a Senate resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law and receive guarantees about the law’s enforcement during the Sochi Winter Olympics, BuzzFeed has learned.

A spokesman for the Oregon Democrat told BuzzFeed of the plans Thursday afternoon, hours after a Russian news source reported that the country’s sports minister said the law would be enforced during the games, slated to take place in February 2014.

The statement from Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko contradicted a prior statement of the IOC that the international body had received assurances the new law would not be applied to “those attending or taking part in the Games.”


The resolution will ask the IOC both to oppose the law itself and to receive a guarantee that athletes and spectators will not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Merkley spokesman Jamal Raad said. The language is still being finalized, however, and he said the resolution will not be introduced formally until the Senate returns from its August recess.

Merkley also tweeted this yesterday:


This Russian issue is going to require action on many different fronts. Thanks to the Democrat from Oregon for taking the lead in the Senate.

[h/t Joe]