Russian activists urge IOC head Bach on gay rights

IOC President Thomas Bach met with Russian gay rights activists

who urged an investigation before the Sochi Olympics into national

laws banning ”gay propaganda.”

International gay rights group AllOut said Russian campaigners

asked Bach in Paris on Saturday ”to launch an independent

investigation on the legal implications of the anti-gay laws in

effect in Russia during the Olympic Games.”

”A list of precise questions about the implication of the

anti-gay laws, to help frame the investigation, were submitted and

received by the IOC president,” AllOut said in a statement. ”The

IOC will announce later whether or not the investigation will be


The International Olympic Committee and its sponsors have been

pressed to take a stronger position against Russia after President

Vladimir Putin signed a law in June banning promotion of

”nontraditional sexual relations” to minors.

”The IOC must call for an end to the discriminatory laws and

ensure that the Olympics never again take place in a city where

athletes are silenced because of who they are or who they love,”

AllOut executive director Andre Banks said.

The IOC has previously said Moscow assured that athletes and

spectators will not face discrimination at the Feb. 7-23 Winter


Bach, an Olympic gold medalist in fencing, was in Paris to

attend a centenary party for the sport’s governing body.

The IOC issued a statement Saturday noting Bach’s meeting with

France President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace, though it

did not refer directly to the issue of gay rights.