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April 16, 2014

Dozens of people were arrested under the gay propaganda law in Sochi, and activists are hoping this never happens again

Over 100,000 people have called on the IOC to ensure the Olympics are never hosted in an anti-gay country again.

While the International Olympic Committee has hinted the rules could be changed in the future, activists are hoping any homophobic countries will be stopped from reaping the rewards of hosting the Games.

The last Olympics in Sochi, Russia, drew a huge amount of international criticism. Dozens of people were arrested under the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

March 4, 2014

He doesn’t even make a good cup of tea, but this LGBTI activist has cooked a rainbow pancake for Russia’s senators and is posting it to them

One 23-year-old is so flipping mad at Russia for passing anti-gay laws, he’s turned Pancake Day into a protest.

Luke Trevaskis, who works as a media professional in Liverpool, northwest England, used a Betty Crocker recipe to make this impressive rainbow pancake – even though he says he’s a ‘hopeless cook’.

But he’s not tucking into the colorful creation on Shrove Tuesday today (4 March).

Instead his pancake is packaged up and will soon be dropping through the letterbox of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament.

February 24, 2014

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community

Did you pour your Stoli vodka down a drain, or stop eating McDonald’s during the Winter Olympics?

In recent months Russia has been at the center of a civil rights firestorm, between president Putin signing anti-gay laws to politicians threatening LGBTI Olympic athletes and spectators.

Even though the Sochi Winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend, the reactions to Russia's anti-gay laws are still being seen, heard and felt around the world.

February 24, 2014

Cher said no, and the world listened. From ballet demonstrations to national commercials, from tweets to open letters, here are the 14 ways the world came together for the Russian LGBTI community

Did you pour your Stoli vodka down a drain, or stop eating McDonald’s during the Winter Olympics?

In recent months Russia has been at the center of a civil rights firestorm, between president Putin signing anti-gay laws to politicians threatening LGBTI Olympic athletes and spectators.

Even though the Sochi Winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend, the reactions to Russia's anti-gay laws are still being seen, heard and felt around the world.

February 23, 2014

'In the [bid] process it would be helpful. I would like to see it but I also understand it's not that easy'

On the last day of the Sochi Winter Games, tennis legend Billie Jean King hopes the International Olympic Committee changes its charter to specifically declare anti-gay discrimination is prohibited.

'Hopefully [IOC president] Mr [Thomas] Bach and the IOC will think about the next time they give a bid out - I hope that they'll look at discrimination as a big part of it,' she said to the BBC.

'But no country is perfect. America certainly isn't,' King continued. 

February 20, 2014

'If you took a world census you'd find 90% of the world agree with it as well'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has found a high-profile ally to support his country's highly-controversial anti-gay propaganda law: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Ecclestone, 83, told CNN today that he 'completely agrees' with the law that makes it illegal to show any kind of public support of homosexuality.

February 19, 2014

Star Trek icon tells GSN: “This Olympics is really a chilling thing because it reminds me of the 1936 Olympics when the Olympics Committee provided an international platform for Adolf Hitler'

George Takei has been watching some of the Olympics in Sochi even though he strongly believes they never should have been allowed to be held in a country with an anti-gay propaganda law in place.

The openly gay Star Trek icon tells Gay Star News that he considers the International Olympic Committee 'spineless' for not moving the games after it was clear that 'Russia breaks the pledge to the Olympic creed of no discrimination.'

February 19, 2014

Star Trek icon tells GSN: “This Olympics is really a chilling thing because it reminds me of the 1936 Olympics when the Olympics Committee provided an international platform for Adolf Hitler'

George Takei has been watching some of the Olympics in Sochi even though he strongly believes they never should have been allowed to be held in a country with an anti-gay propaganda law in place.

The openly gay Star Trek icon tells Gay Star News that he considers the International Olympic Committee 'spineless' for not moving the games after it was clear that 'Russia breaks the pledge to the Olympic creed of no discrimination.'

February 19, 2014

Berlin’s guardians of the Rainbow Flame appeal for people to show solidarity to the LGBTI protestors in Russia

One brave trans woman has stood up to Russia’s gay hate in Sochi, and it’s time to say thank you.

Vladimir Luxuria’s story has spread worldwide after she defied the Russian authorities at the Olympics and openly spoke out for LGBTI people.

February 19, 2014

Video shows members of performance art group being attacked in public plaza

Video of members of the performance art group Pussy Riot being attacked with horsewhips by Cossack militia emerged Wednesday and is quickly causing outrage.

The pro-gay, anti-Putin group was trying to perform in Sochi, Russia, under a sign advertising the Winter Olympics.

As they pulled out a guitar and microphone,  at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in.

The women chanted in Russian: 'Putin will teach you to love the Motherland,' the name of the song for which they had arrived in Sochi to make a new protest video.

February 19, 2014

Video shows members of performance art group being attacked in public plaza

Video of members of the performance art group Pussy Riot being attacked with horsewhips by Cossack militia emerged Wednesday and is quickly causing outrage.

The pro-gay, anti-Putin group was trying to perform in Sochi, Russia, under a sign advertising the Winter Olympics.

As they pulled out a guitar and microphone,  at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in.

The women chanted in Russian: 'Putin will teach you to love the Motherland,' the name of the song for which they had arrived in Sochi to make a new protest video.

February 18, 2014

Two women who were freed in December after a two year prison sentence claim they have been arrested and detained

Two members of the protest group Pussy say they have been arrested in Sochi after a gay rights protest.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were freed after two years in jail in December, have claimed they had been detained on accusation of committing a crime.

‘We have been arrested ... and are accused of robbery,’ Tolokonnikova wrote on her Twitter account.

Both women said police used force and threw them in a police van.

February 18, 2014

Italian trans former MP was taken away by police then later released in the Russian countryside  

Trans activist Vladimir Luxuria was arrested for the second time in two days on Monday - this time for trying to enter an arena where an Olympic hockey game was being played.

Luxuria, a former member of the Italian parliament, was wearing a rainbow colored outfit and a large rainbow headdress when she was detained by police as she entered the Shayba Arena.

February 17, 2014

Bravo's Watch What Happens Live host says his 'blood boils' whenever he sees Putin on TV

Andy Cohen, the openly gay host of Bravo channel's What What Happens Live talk show, refered to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a 'bastard' in an interview over the weekend.

During a piece on LGBTI equality on NBC's Meet the Press, Cohen was asked about Putin inadvertently hugging a gay gold medal speed skater from Holland.

Replied Cohen: 'We all get carried away in the magic and pageantry of the Olympics. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if that bastard did too? I mean, it would be. He put on a huge show. Learn something from it.'

February 17, 2014

Vladimir Luxuria was arrested in the southern city of Russia for holding up a sign for saying 'Gay Is OK'

While she may have just spent a few hours detained in a Russian police station, the trans activist and former MP is determined to continue making a political statement against anti-gay laws.

Vladimir Luxuria, a former politician in the Italian parliament, was arrested in Sochi while holding a waving flag saying ‘Gay Is OK’ in Russian.

‘I've been freed and tomorrow I'll watch the Games,’ the 48-year-old advocate wrote in a text message, according to the ANSA news agency.

February 16, 2014

Vladimir Luxuria, a member of the Communist Refoundation Party, is allegedly 'alone in a room with neon lights on the face'


Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/16/218337/italian-media-transgender-ex-government.html#storylink=cpy

Various media outlets are reporting that Vladimir Luxuria, Italy's first out transgendered elected official, has been arrested in Sochi.

According to the McClatchy Washington Bureau, Vladimir Luxuria was allegedly arrested after holding a rainbow colored banner that said 'Gay is OK' in Russian.

Luxuria took a photo, holding the banner, outside of Olympics' Medal Park. She put the picture on Twitter.

February 15, 2014

Lesbian tennis legend King has been named as one of the presidential delegates to attend Sochi’s closing ceremony after she had to drop out of opening ceremony to care for her sick mother

Tennis legend Billie Jean King has been announced as one of the presidential delegates selected by Barack Obama to attend the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The openly gay US former world number one, 70, was originally part of the line up to appear at the opening ceremony but she decided to drop out to care for her sick mother who died on 7 February.

Now King is being given a second chance to travel to Sochi as part of a group of US representatives.

February 14, 2014

Clare Balding, who has had to defend herself for not boycotting Sochi, jokes the Russian president will enjoy the double luge

Gay sports presenter Clare Balding has given President Vladimir Putin a hilarious dig live on the BBC.

The broadcaster, who is in Sochi for the Winter Olympic Games, was introducing the infamous double luge.

‘Now technically, this could be a mixed pairing. It could be two women,’ she said.

‘But historically it has always been two men because that’s the quickest way to get down the course.

‘Now I’m very much hoping President Putin is going to go up to the Sliding Center to watch this one in person.’

February 11, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally congratulated bisexual Dutch speed skater Ireen Wust with a ‘cuddle’ during a party that was held to celebrate her gold medal win

The first LGBTI athlete to win a gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics has been personally congratulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and she says he gave him a cuddle.

Dutch speed skater Ireen Wust has been billed by much of the media as ‘the first openly gay gold medalist’ at the Sochi Games but she identifies as bisexual and has had relationships with both men and women.

February 11, 2014

King's Parade in Cambridge came alive with music, dancing, and rainbow flags in a demonstration provoked by the oppression of LGBTI people in Russia.

The UK's smartest students have staged a gay kiss protest to fight against Russia's anti-gay laws.

Hundreds of Cambridge University students, the top ranked college in the country, staged a Gay Pride flash-mob in solidarity with LGBTI communities in Russia and around the world.

On Saturday (8 February), same-sex couples kissed, danced, and showed their love for each other on midday, while businesses on King’s Parade blasted music and flew rainbow flags from their windows.

February 10, 2014

Debbie Harry has revealed that Blondie were approached to perform at the Sochi Winter Olympics but turned down the offer over Russia’s human rights record

Blondie singer Debbie Harry has revealed that her band was approached to play during the Sochi Winter Olympics but turned down the offer over Russia’s human rights record.

Harry took to Twitter to post a photo of the offer by the Red Rocks Festival which is being held in Sochi as part of the Cultural Olympiad which surrounds the games.

On it she had written, ‘Pass – human rights.’

Blondie had been asked to travel to the games to perform in front of a crowd of 25,000 people during a 45 minute set on 13 February with a 9pm start.

February 10, 2014

Canadian Olympian's site unavailable in Russia, potentially for gay material

Straight Canadian Olympian Justin Kripps is accusing Russia of censoring his website for allegedly violating gay propaganda laws.

The bobsledder used his site to keep fans updated on his activities, but after arriving in Sochi and trying to log on, he found himself blocked.

Three weeks ago, a topless picture of him and his teammates went viral online for obvious reasons. Blogger Andrew Sullivan declared them the 'beards of the week'.

A translation of the error message came up and gave three possible reasons for access being refused.

February 10, 2014

Gay anthem YMCA was played at a Sochi Winter Games speed skating event after a spectator requested it

The Village People’s disco hit YMCA was played during a speed skating event at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia on Saturday in a surprise move.

The song, long considered an anthem by gay men all over the world, was requested by a spectator during a break in the competition when the event's presenters put out a call for requests.

The crowd reportedly danced and bopped to the song which is one of 4,600 approved songs that have been chosen by the Sochi Winter Olympics organizing committee as acceptable to be played at events during the games.

February 9, 2014

Despite arrests, reported beatings and threats of sexual violence against activists who were detained, the IOC says nothing except that Russia was acting in accordance with its laws

Since the start of the Sochi Olympic Games on Friday, some 61 activists – 24 of them for staging pro-gay demonstrations – have been arrested across Russia. Some of those held in Moscow have reported being beaten while in police custody.