So, Russian president Vladimir Putin is assuring everyone that there will be no discrimination against gay people and their supporters at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. And he says gays are not discriminated against in his country, that the law banning disseminating “gay propaganda to young people” is all about reversing Russia’s demographic decline — because, you know, gay marriages can’t produce children. (See AFP report.)

Everybody feel better now?

Mr. Putin is no doubt sincere with his assurances that “during the Olympics or any other major sports events, Russia will strictly stick to the Olympic principles which forbid any kind of discrimination of people on any basis.”

But what about gay people outside of Sochi during the Games? What about gay people in, say, Moscow?

As for the law itself, which may very well have been passed in a somewhat misguided effort to promote traditional relationships and produce more babies, it is still restricting the rights of people who live in non-traditional relationships. It is still making them hide their love away.

And we all know how things can get out of control when politicians pass laws — or even hint at passing laws — restricting people’s rights, yes? (See preceding post.) Can Mr. Putin control all of his country’s zealous, holier-than-thou law-enforcement officials? How about the bigoted citizens who have taken it upon themselves to assault members of the LGBT communities there, all in the name of Mother Russia, of course.

In the reports about Mr. Putin’s statements, I didn’t see him address the issue of vigilante anti-gay justice that is on the rise in that country. I didn’t see him condemn the homophobic acts of violence. Maybe the media forgot to ask him to comment on it. But it would have been nice to see him speak out against it.

But, yes, we can be assured Russian officials — if not the citizens — will be on their best behaviour in Sochi during the Winter Olympics, and will turn a blind eye to any acts of support for LGBT people there.

Let the Games begin?