Sen. Charles E. Schumer suggested Monday that, instead of boycotting the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia altogether, countries should wave rainbow flags during the opening ceremonies to show support for gay rights, The Hill reported.
“That’d be pretty embarrassing for Putin,” the New York Democrat said on MSNBC. “Let our athletes participate but still make a stand.”
Legislation passed last year made it illegal in Russia to even speak about homosexuality in the presence of minors, and officials are warning that the law could be applied to foreigners visiting Sochi for the winter games.
Vitaly Milonov, who sponsored the legislation that became the basis for the law signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, told the Interfax news agency last month that fans and athletes visiting Russia would not be immune from the strict speech laws.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, has called for a boycott of the games in response to Russia’s failure to return Edward Snowden, but President Obama on Friday rejected the notion, The Hill reported.
“I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics,” the president said. “We’ve got a bunch of Americans out there who are training hard, who are doing everything they can to succeed.”