Sen. Boxer: Olympics discrimination would be 'dark stain' on Russia

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Friday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to repeal a Russian anti-gay law. 

Boxer warned the law would leave a "dark stain" on Russia's reputation if gay athletes are discriminated against when the country hosts the Winter Olympics in 2014.

 “If these laws and policies are not repealed, the consequences for human life and human dignity could get even worse,” said Boxer, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Human Rights. 

Boxer noted that the United States, like other countries, will have gay athletes and spectators at the games and warned Putin to treat them with respect. 

“I cannot stay silent while your country works to put in place deeply discriminatory laws and policies undermining the rights of LGBT individuals, which have already had tangible and dangerous consequence," Boxer said.

The Russian law banning gay propoganda has been criticized heavily in the United States, though President Obama has said he will not boycott the Olympics over the issue. 

Putin has shown no sign of backing down. On Friday, Russia announced demonstrations in Sochi, the site of the Winter Olympics, would be banned during the games. 

Russia has promised the International Olympic Committee that it would not discriminate against homosexuals during the games, but Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak on Thursday defended the law. He said it outlawed propaganda of all “nontraditional” relationships. 

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