Congressman Smith supports boycott of Winter Olympics

Congressman Adam Smith (D-District 9) - Mirror file photo
Congressman Adam Smith (D-District 9)
— image credit: Mirror file photo

Courtesy of the Bellevue Reporter:

In an interview with KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz, Rep. Adam Smith (D-District 9) joined a growing number of individuals, businesses and communities offering support for the boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia if President Vladimir Putin does not renounce a broad new anti-gay propaganda law.

"It's an ugly, ugly situation in Russia right now and we should put as much pressure on them as possible to change some of those policies," said Congressman Smith, a Democrat, in the broadcast interview.

He said that the competing countries and athletes needed to be reassured that gay athletes would not be discriminated against or harassed during the Olympic games.

"If we have a situation where gay athletes from any country show up to Russia to compete in a competition and face arrest, that's completely unacceptable," said Smith.

Boycotts of Russian liquor and food also have cropped up. Under the sweeping new law, "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" is forbidden, including holding hands, carrying symbols like a rainbow flag and speaking about homosexuality around minors. Citizens of countries that do permit gay marriage also will be forbidden from adopting Russian children.

Media coverage from the country has reported arrests during gay pride rallies and the violent treatment of activists.

Smith represents the 9th Congressional District, which includes Federal Way. District 9 stretches from Tacoma in the south to Mercer Island and Bellevue in the north.

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