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Olympic Village mayors defend Russia's anti-LGBT law

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Just three weeks before the Opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a mayor of one Olympic Village has spoken in support of the "propaganda law" in Russia. A gold-winning figure skater and a law maker in the Russian parliament voted for the "Propaganda of Nontraditional Sexual Relations" bill last June. In a recent interview for Dozhd, Svetlana Zhurova explained that she  “voted [in favor of the bill] to stop people promoting it [the LGBT community] to minors.”

“I just think they shouldn’t show a cartoon on TV — excuse me, I have two boys — where a king loves another king.” She went on to tell a "joke” about the law: “If someone says he’s Napoleon, he’ll be taken straight to the appropriate institution. If he says he’s a woman, then basically nothing happens to him, he’s fighting for his rights,” she added.

Along with Zhurova, another mayor of one Olympic Village has expressed support for the anti-gay law. According to Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vault champion, it is disappointing for athletes from other countries to voice their opinion about the anti-LGBT laws.

“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,” Isinbayeva told the Associated Press. “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys. … It comes from history. We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”

In show of support for LGBT safety and quality, President Barack Obama announced that the US Olympic delegation will include three openly gay individuals to reflect America's diversity. In response to Obama's decision, a senior IOC member, Mario Pescante announced that US should not be promoting LGBT rights during the Olympics. ‘It’s absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have [been established],’ he said

Along with Obama and other politicians such as Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, athletes from around the world have come out in favor of LGBT equality in sports and at the Olympics. Those include Gabriel Landeskog, Billie Jean King, Brian Boitano, and many others.

Mario Pescante
Mario Pescante
Mario Pescanteannounced that he did not believe the US should be supporting the LGBT community during the Olympics.

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