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Content about Winter Olympics

June 12, 2014

Canadian Sochi Games gold medal winner Charline Labonte has come out in an article for OutSports in which she talks about what it was like to be a gay athlete in Russia

Gold medal winning Canadian Ice Hockey goalkeeper Charline Labonte has spoken about her experience at the Sochi Winter Olympics and how great it was that her girlfriend was also on the Canadian team.

In an article for OutSports, Labonte came out publicly for the first time and not only revealed that she is a lesbian but that her girlfriend is speed skater Anastasia Buscis who also competed at Sochi.

May 12, 2014

As we approach IDAHO, Dr Paula Gerber of Kaleidoscope Australia explains why the Pacific is an important frontier for LGBTI rights

The United Nations recently invited people to imagine what it would be like if you were not free to be you. If the only sexual orientation you were allowed to express was a heterosexual one. For people in 80 countries around the world, this requires no imagination, because it is their day-to-day reality. That is why IDAHO – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – is so important.

April 2, 2014

In an exclusive interview with Gay Star News, Sherlock's co-creator says the UK should have done more to stand up for LGBTI rights before the Sochi Winter Olympics

Gay actor Mark Gatiss has compared gay discrimination in Russia to Nazi Germany, in an exclusive interview with Gay Star News.

The Sherlock co-creator and writer has reflected on the Sochi Winter Olympics that took place last month, saying we need to ‘keep the flag flying’ and pressurizing anti-gay countries.

Citing the 1936 Olympic games held in Berlin under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, Gatiss said the UK and other pro-gay countries should have done more to stand up for LGBTI rights.

March 11, 2014

A gay Inuit Canadian man has launched a Facebook page in support of LGBTI indigenous Canadians after two Inuit politicians complained about the raising of a rainbow gay pride flag

Gay Canadian and Inuit man Robbie Watt has launched a Facebook in support of LGBTI indigenous Canadians in response to a number of Inuit local politicians saying it was against Inuit tradition to be gay.

The saga began when a rainbow flag was hoisted over Iqaluit City Hall in Nunavut territory on 11 February to highlight gay rights in Russia during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

That same night one of the city’s councilors, Simon Nattaq, complained about the flag, claiming that it was ‘not Inuit custom to be gay.’

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 21, 2014

Out athletes say that when they come out, they become better at their sport after conquering challenges and pressures

If the openly LGBT athletes were a team at Sochi, they would have more medals than Team GB.

With just seven openly gay Olympians competing in the Games, and all women, they proved to be victorious.

Ireen Wüst was the biggest medal-winner of the seven athletes, winning one gold and three silvers. She still has to compete in the Ladies’ Team Pursuit on Friday (21 February).

Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, the Austrian ski jumper, won silver in the normal hill individual.

February 18, 2014

IOC spokesman says countries who do not abide by an anti-discrimination rule could factor in decisions on the bidding process

Russia, and other countries with homophobic laws, could be banned from hosting the Olympics under a proposed new rule.

The International Olympics Committee has responded to calls that countries must abide by a specific anti-discrimination decree modelled on the Olympic Charter’s Principle 6.

Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.

February 17, 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 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 13, 2014

Russian embassy in London reacts badly to Channel 4's powerful documentary Hunted about the vigilante groups in Russia hunting down homosexuals

Officials in the Russian embassy in London are furious over a recent UK documentary exposing the homophobic attacks in Russia.

In response, they have labelled the Channel 4 film Hunted ‘slander’, ‘hate propaganda’ and they could have easily created a documentary about the UK hunting down redheads.

‘Hunted’, screened last week before the Sochi Winter Olympics, has been described as one of the ‘most shocking and important documentaries of recent years’.

February 12, 2014

Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz says she hopes to create positive conversation surrounding the outrage over the Russia Winter Olympics

Austria’s Daniela Iraschko-Stolz became the first openly gay athlete to medal at Russia’s Winter Games yesterday (11 February).

She came second in the first ever women’s ski jump competition at the Olympics.

Iraschko-Stolz actually jumped the furthest in the final, flying through their air on her second jump for 104.5m (343 feet).

But the gold was awarded to German Carina Vogt after the Austrian’s points score was calculated to accommodate an advantage she had in wind speed.

February 11, 2014

An estimated crowd of 70,000 people at the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day held hands in a message of support and unity with LGBTI people in Russia and other parts of the world where they are being oppressed

A crowd of around 70,000 people held hands on Sunday in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with LGBTI people in Russia who are having their freedom of expression and assembly violated by Russian authorities on the pretext of protecting children from ‘homosexual propaganda.’

The law has seen over 20 people protesting in favor of the rights of LGBTI people during the Sochil Winter Olympics.

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 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

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 8, 2014

A Sochi 2014 clip inspired by Facebook’s anniversary videos shows what LGBTI people in Russia have suffered

Facebook users have recently been enjoying their ‘look back’ videos.

Nostalgic clips that show their best moments and favorite photos to celebrate ten years of the social media site.

However, a version focusing on Sochi 2014 is the total opposite.

Instead of smiling photos and funny statuses, this video looks at the bloodied faces of gay rights protestors and the homophobic comments from Russian leaders.

February 7, 2014

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, have reportedly been arrested in St Petersburg

Russia has made the first arrests of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Four gay rights activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested in St Petersburg today.

LGBTI advocate Anastasia Smirnova led the group holding a banner, according to the Russian LGBT network.

It said: ‘Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter.'

Speaking to Gay Star News, a police spokesman confirmed the arrests and said they would be held until further notice. They could answer no further questions at this time. 

February 7, 2014

The story of a Russian arrested and persecuted for his sexuality, forcing him to seek asylum, is told in the new play

A Russian gay man is locked up and abused for his sexuality, forcing him to flee to London for asylum in a new play highlighting LGBTI-rights abuses as the Sochi Winter Olympics start.

'In the Thrice Ninth Kingdom, by Michael Yale, is being staged in London to support the Kaleidoscope Trust, an international LGBTI charity.

The play was inspired by the passing and consequences of Russia’s 2013 law, banning 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations amongst minors', and used to crack down on LGBTI people, leading to arrests and violence.

February 5, 2014

O’Grady says he believes Putin is gay as he joins a global day of action against Russia anti-gay hate

Popular gay TV star Paul O’Grady has said he is boycotting Coca-Cola but supporting lesbian BBC Olympics anchor Clare Balding over Sochi.

O’Grady, who made his name as drag queen Lily Savage and is now a TV host, was fronting a protest in London as part of a day of action today (5 February) before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Around 300 showed up for the protest in London, outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street home, in the last hour – despite rain and a strike crippling the Tube network.

February 5, 2014

O’Grady says he believes Putin is gay as he joins a global day of action against Russia anti-gay hate

Popular gay TV star Paul O’Grady has said he is boycotting Coca-Cola but supporting lesbian BBC Olympics anchor Clare Balding over Sochi.

O’Grady, who made his name as drag queen Lily Savage and is now a TV host, was fronting a protest in London as part of a day of action today (5 February) before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Around 300 showed up for the protest in London, outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street home, in the last hour – despite rain and a strike crippling the Tube network.

February 5, 2014

Protests will take place in 19 cities around the world including London, New York and St Petersburg

A call is being sent out around the world to protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws today (5 February).

Held two days before the Winter Olympics begins in Sochi, the protestors will call on sponsors to speak out over Russia’s gay propaganda ban.

Protests are expected to take place in 19 cities around the globe, including London, New York, Paris and St Petersburg.

Sponsors of the Olympic Games include Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa.

February 4, 2014

Bent Høie, the official representative for Norway at the Paralympics, said it was common for an official to take their spouse to such an event

Norway’s gay minister will be making a stand by taking his husband to Sochi Winter Games.

Bent Høie, the official representative for Norway at the Paralympics, announced he would be attending the event with his spouse today (4 February).

‘I cannot wait to watch and support all the Norwegian athletes,’ he said. ‘These are athletes with disabilities who perform at a very high level.’

Speaking to the Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper, Høie said it was normal for a cabinet official to travel with a spouse on such an official visit.

February 3, 2014

Drinks giant, currently under fire for sponsoring the Sochi Olympics in Russia, is now facing outrage from conservatives for their commercial

Coca-Cola has responded to protests over their support of Sochi Winter Olympics by releasing the first Super Bowl ad to feature gay parents.

The ad, titled ‘It’s Beautiful’, showed classic scenes of American life while ‘America The Beautiful’ played in the background.

But with a twist, the song was sung in different languages and included a gay couple with their daughter.

While some appreciated the drinks giant’s love letter to the patriotic spirit of immigrants, others accused Coke of committing ‘corporate suicide’.