LGBT issues may eclipse Winter Olympic Games

Despite the biggest sporting event in the world rapidly approaching, Russia is getting a lot of attention over an issue of a different nature. Due to the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors", there has been a huge backlash over the discrimination of LGBT Russians.

The laws are extremely discriminatory to the citizens of Russia, and the international backlash towards Putin's laws is a major part of not only the Olympic games themselves but also for LGBT Russians.

Since the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors" law many LGBT Russian experienced discrimination and hate-crime. “What has been happening alongside of the law — and I think it’s something people believe the law has given permission for — is to have violent attacks on LGBT people,” said [Ross] Murray. “Gangs have been attacking gay men and transgender people, attacking them and filming it, then posting it on the Internet for people to see.”

“There’s been the proposed law of taking children away from parents who are accused of being gay (and) now the proposed referendum of making being gay in Russia illegal,” Murray said. “It would be similar to the law that was just upheld up by the Indian Supreme Court and the draconian laws in Uganda and Nigeria as well.”

The 2014 winter Olympics games in Sochi is a perfect opportunity to make an international statement about equality for all. It is a chance for influential individuals to come out and strengthen the LGBT community around the world. It is also a good time for politicians to stand up for diversity.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera