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Content about the 2014 Winter Olympics

July 30, 2014

Russia will revive the Cold War era Intervision song contest in October in protest at Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision win

Following on to hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian coastal city of Sochi will host the 2014 edition of the Soviet era Intervision song contest in October which Russia is reviving in protest at Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst winning the Eurovision song contest.

The contest is open to members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Co-operation Organization and former Soviet Republics including the Baltic states.

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 8, 2014

GLAAD praises spots as truly reflecting 'the fabric of our nation, which today includes gay and lesbian families'

The Russian government may be busy cracking down on any public display of support of homosexuality as the Olympics kick off in Sochi, but it has no control over what airs on NBC.

The US broadcaster of the 2014 Winter Olympics aired two commercials from car company Chevrolet that could never air in Russia due to its anti-gay propaganda law.

They feature families with same-sex couples and aired during NBC's tape-delayed telecast of opening ceremonies which took place earlier in the day on Friday (7 February).

February 7, 2014

Russian police busy enforcing country's anti-gay propaganda law during Olympics - see video

At least 10 LGBTI activists were arrested in Moscow on Friday by Russian police as they sang and waved Rainbow Pride flags in a snow-covered Red Square to protest the country's anti-gay laws.

The group continued to sing the Russian national anthem and wave their flags as police struggled to put them into vehicles - at times dragging them.

The demonstration took place on the same day as opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics were taking place in Sochi.

January 27, 2014

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov says there are no gay people living in his city of 350,000 people – but says they would be welcome so long as they respect Russia’s ban on so-called homosexual propaganda to minors

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov has claimed there are no gay people living in his city in the lead up to the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Pakhomov made the claim despite the fact that there are two gay bars in his city of 350,000 people – but said that gay people would be welcome so long as they ‘respect Russian law’ and ‘don't impose their habits on others’ in an interview with the BBC.

January 7, 2014

German skier Felix Neureuther has criticized Russia for being chosen to host this year’s Winter Olympics because of its ban on so-called gay ‘propaganda’ after winning a World Cup slalom in Bormio, Italy on Monday

German skier Felix Neureuther has become the latest athlete to speak out against Russia’s ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ to minors which makes any mention or depiction of homosexuality or homosexual persons that can be accessed by children a crime.

Neureuther said Russia should not have been chosen as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics because of its poor human rights record.

December 18, 2013

Outspoken 20-time Wimbledon champ is part of official US delegation

Billie Jean King, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, is part of the delegation that will be representing the US at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

King, 70, is not only one of the world's most famous athletes, she's also one of the world's most famous lesbians and a tireless advocate for LGBTI and gender equality.

"Honored to represent USA in Sochi and I hope these Olympics will be a watershed moment for the universal acceptance of all people,' King tweeted Tuesday (17 December) evening.

December 10, 2013

New Yorker Editor David Remnick is an expert on Russia

NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in will now include New Yorker editor David Remnick focusing on Russia's politics including the country's anti-gay propaganda law.

Remnick is an expert on Russia writing pieces for The New Yorker about Russian politics and culture. He is the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post.

'David is a distinguished journalist who knows Russia very well, and we’re excited to have his expertise on the host country for our Sochi coverage,' Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

November 8, 2013

Gareth Thomas, the first professional rugby player to come out as gay, adds his opinion to the ongoing debate as to whether gay athletes should participate in the upcoming Russian Olympics given the country's laws against homosexuality

Gareth Thomas believes nothing should hold gay athletes back from participating in the Sochi Winter Olympics, not even anti-gay laws.

The openly gay retired rugby player discussed the 2014 Winter Olympics in an interview with Youtube sport channel Sportlobster TV, adding to the debate and concern as to whether gay and lesbian athletes should compete in the games because host countries Qatar and Russia have strong laws against homosexuality.

October 28, 2013

With the start of 2014 Winter Games now 100 days away, Russian president tries to soften anti-gay tone

Russian President Vladimir Putin is saying gays are welcome at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

With his country's widely-criticized anti-gay propaganda law still in place, Putin on Monday (28 October) for the first time appeared to be making some kind of gesture to the LGBTI community as the worldwide sporting event draws closer.

October 9, 2013

Europe will discuss the rise of homophobia and xenophobia in Russia in Strasbourg

The International Olympics Committee has chosen Russia’s side in the crackdown of the LGBT community, according to a leading member of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament discuss the rise of homophobia and xenophobia in Russia in Strasbourg tomorrow (10 October).

Sophie in ‘t Velt MEP, vice president of the LGBT Intergroup, has said: ’The recent decree by president Putin banning demonstrations and rallies for two and a half months in Sochi around the 2014 Winter Olympics should be a wake-up call to the International Olympic Committee.

October 5, 2013

Peaceful protest in front of the Acropolis Museum as the Olympic Flame begins its journey to Sochi

Approximately 30 people had a peaceful protest during the Olympic torch ceremony in Athens.

The group stood on the steps of the Acropolis Museum during a Olympic torch ceremony. The flame was on its way to the Panathenaic Stadium, where it was officially handed to the organizers of the Winter Games in Sochi.

October 1, 2013

Sergei Naryshkin: 'They build their lives freely and in accordance with their preferences'

The head of the Russian state of Duma said today (1 October) that the country's anti-gay propaganda law will not lead to discrmination.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Sergei Naryshkin also said that no one discriminates against LGBT people in Russia.

The broadly-written law prohibits public support of homosexuality and has brought widespread criticism to Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

September 27, 2013

'The IOC has completely neglected its responsibility to athletes, corporate sponsors, and fans'

The largest LGBT rights group in the US is blasting the International Olympic Committee for not taking a stand against Russia's anti-gay propagenda law.

At a press conference Thursday (26 September), IOC chairman Jean-Claude Killy stated that unless the Olympic Charter is clearly violated, 'the IOC doesn't have the right to discuss the ... laws that are in place in the country hosting the games.'

September 24, 2013

Elton John hopes to make a difference by performing in Russia

Elton John says he knows there are plenty of people who do not believe he should be performing in Russia in December with the country's anti-gay laws still in place.

But he's going to do it anyway.

'On one hand, I want to say, "I'm not going and you can go to hell, you guys." But that's not helping anyone who's gay or transgendered over there,' he tells National Public Radio

September 20, 2013

Outspoken star is returning to TV in ABC Family series The Fosters

The news is that Rosie O'Donnell is returning to television with a recurring role in the ABC Family hit The Fosters.

But O'Donnell, who often made headlines during her stormy year as an outspoken co-host of The View, is still sounding off on plenty of other topics in the news these days.

O'Donnell says she has 'mixed feelings' about a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws.

September 18, 2013

Outspoken opponent of a boycott does not sign up for national championships

Gay US figure skater Johnny Weir won 't be competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Associated Press reports that Weir, a two-time Olympian, did not register to try and qualify for the national championship where the US Olympic team will be selected.

The nationals begin on 9 January in Boston and Weir would have had to perform well in them to qualify for a third Olympics. He finished sixth at the 2010 games in Vancouver.

September 5, 2013

Olympic hopeful comes out publicly to speak out against Russia's anti-gay laws

Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis wants to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

If the 2010 Olympian qualifies again, she will do so as an openly gay athlete who is on the record as being against Russia's controversial anti-gay propaganda law.

After tweeting that she is 'proud to be gay,' Bucsis elaborated to The Globe and Mail why she was speaking out about her sexuality now.

August 19, 2013

'It's unbelievable that it can be this way in this time'

Detroit Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg, likely to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as part of Sweden's national team, is speaking out against Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

The National Hockey League star described the law, which bans any kind of public support of homosexuality , as 'awful, just awful.'

August 10, 2013

Britain’s Prime Minister responded to Stephen Fry’s requests to spurn the Winter Olympics in Russia, saying ‘we can better challenge prejudices as we attend’

PM David Cameron has said he will not boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Cameron sent a message via Twitter this morning saying: ‘Thank you for your note @stephenfry. I share your deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia...

‘However, I believe we can better challenge prejudices as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics.’

August 9, 2013

Vitaly Churkin defended Russia’s law banning homosexual 'propaganda' to a group of demonstrators protesting outside his New York residence

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has said Russia does not have anti-gay laws.

During a confrontation with a group of people protesting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi outside his New York residence yesterday, Vitaly Churkin said: ‘We don't have anti-gay laws. We have laws banning homosexual propaganda among minors.’

August 7, 2013

'Trust me, if you are a corporate brand, you do not want to be associated with the Sochi'

Actor and LGBT activist George Takei is calling for the 2014 Olympics to be moved to a host city other than Sochi because of Russia's 'draconian' anti-gay propaganda law.

'The International Olympic Committee must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia,' Takei states in a powerful blog post on Tuesday (6 August).

August 6, 2013

Wants 'explicit, written guarantee from Russian President Vladimir Putin that visitors to the Olympics will be safe'

The Human Rights Campaign has launched a petition drive to pressure the International Olympic Committee get an 'explicit, written guarantee' that visitors to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi will be safe.

The country has been under fire for its anti-gay propaganda law and HRC has been among the most outspoken critics.

August 1, 2013

Truth Wins Out: 'Adding her to NBC’s coverage won’t fly in the face of the Olympic spirit, but rather enhance it'

A petition has been launched demanding that NBC add lesbian journalist Rachel Maddow to its broadcast team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as 'human rights correspondent.'

Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism, wants Maddow on hand to deliver 'hard-hitting pieces exposing the reality of what LGBT people, political dissidents and other minorities face every day under the Putin regime.'