2014 WINTER OLYMPICS: CONFLICTS AHEAD
Blake Skjellerup, a New Zealand speed skater who came out in 2010, will be wearing a rainbow pin at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.
It follows gay activists calling for a total boycott of the event, with some international organizations saying it is irresponsible for the International Olympics Committee to have chosen a country with a poor record on human rights.
Speaking to Vocativ, Skjellerup said: ‘The Olympics are an apolitical movement, however the Olympics is also a celebration of humanity and all sexualities are a part of humanity. …
‘Having the presence of someone like myself who is just out and who is just being myself is far more important than not being there,’ he said. … (Gay Star News)
Bad news for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers hoping to visit Russia, as foreign tourists will now be subjected to the same “gay propaganda” fines and sentences as residents.
Travel site Skift reports that the new law, signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 30, contains a provision that allows the government to arrest and detain gay (or “pro-gay”) foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from Russia.
As far as what is considered “pro-gay,” the laws specifics are somewhat vague, but Canadian site Travel and Escape suggests “gay-affirmative” speech, displaying a rainbow flag and same-sex partners holding hands are among the prohibited actions. … (Huffington Post)
- Tilda Swinton joins protests against Russian LGBT crackdown (76crimes.com)
- Olympic Committee Says Russia’s Antigay Bill Won’t Effect LGBT Olympians (advocate.com)
- Russia’s Putin signs draconian anti-gay law banning gay everything, even speech or holding hands (americablog.com)
- Gay tourists could face jail following new anti-gay law in Russia. “LGBT people in Russia are scared, they live in fear” (newsforage.com)
- Russian LGBT Group Calls for Boycott of Sochi Olympics; Says Gay People Not Safe There (towleroad.com)
- LGBT news roundup: Uganda, Russia, Zimbabwe, more (76crimes.com)
- Russia: New anti-gay bill calls for 1 million ruble fines (76crimes.com)
- Russian ‘gay propaganda’ ban triggers violence (76crimes.com)