During the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, protests and campaigns arose surrounding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia.

Concerns for LGBT athletes and supporters during the Games began as early as March 2012, when a Russian judge blocked the establishment of a Pride House in Sochi, ruling that "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" would "undermine the security of Russian society", and that it conflicted with public morality and the country's policies "in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection."[1] The majority of protests, however, centred on the passing of a law in June 2013, which banned the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" among minors. The propaganda law had been characterized by the Western media and other critics as a ban on "gay propaganda", arguing that it was broad enough to ban any public display of LGBT symbols and suppress LGBT culture. The law itself was also considered to have caused an increase in homophobic violence, and an increase in the arrest of pro-LGBT protesters.[2][3][4][5][6]

The implications of the law on the then-upcoming Winter Olympics were a major concern among athletes and the Western media, as the Olympic Charter contains language explicitly denouncing all forms of discrimination. Early international pressure was leveraged to compel the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move the Olympics to another country, as well as pressure on Olympic sponsors to take a stand for LGBT equality. In tandem, calls to boycott and protest the Olympics before, during, and after the games also went out from various organizations and groups, and a number of Olympic athletes came out as a symbolic protest of the law. Prior to the Games, similar pressure was placed on major Olympic sponsors, and several non-sponsors also made public statements in support of LGBT rights. Several national politicians declined to attend the Games, which some Western media outlets attributed as connected to the legislation, while others stated that few leaders normally attend the Winter Games as it is not a "must attend" event.

Timeline of protests and related events


2014 (pre-Games)

2014 (during the Games)

See also


  1. ^ Three protest parks were designated in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics, at the suggestion of the IOC. All 77 applications to protest there had been withdrawn or denied, and no protests took place. Four persons who applied to protest were arrested or sentenced to reeducation.(Elderly Chinese Women Sentenced to Labor Re-education, The Washington Post, August 20, 2008; Peter Foster, The IOC plays appeaser in Beijing, Telegraph Blogs, August 20, 2008.)


  1. ^ "Judge bans Sochi 2014 gay Pride House claiming it would offend "public morality"". Inside the Games. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  2. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (2013-08-11). "Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ Johnson, Ted (24 July 2013). "Russia's Anti-Gay Laws Present Challenge for NBC's Olympics Coverage". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ Fierstein, Harvey (21 July 2013). "Russia's Anti-Gay Crackdown". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ Luhn, Alec (1 September 2013). "Russian anti-gay law prompts rise in homophobic violence". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Weaver, Courtney (16 August 2013). "Russia gay propaganda law fuels homophobic attacks". Financial Times.
  7. ^ a b c Crary, David. "Foes of Russia's Anti-Gay Law Ponder New Tactics". Bigstory.ap.org. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  8. ^ "Dozens Held at LGBT Rally in Russia's St.Petersburg". En.ria.ru. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  9. ^ "Dozens Arrested At Gay Pride Rally In Russia". Bigstory.ap.org. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  10. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (2013-07-22). "4 Dutch LGBT advocates arrested in Russia". Washingtonblade.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  11. ^ "Задержанных под Мурманском голландцев отпустили без суда". Lenta.ru. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  12. ^ a b Alec Luhn in Moscow. "US athlete Nick Symmonds speaks out against Russia's LGBT propaganda law in Moscow: Runner dedicates silver medal to gay and lesbian friends at home during world athletics championships". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  13. ^ "Australian Snowboarder Belle Brockhoff Comes Out As Gay To Make Statement About Sochi". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  14. ^ "HRC Calls on Olympic Sponsors to Condemn Anti-LGBT Law in Russia, Advocate for Equality Worldwide". Hrc.org. 2014-02-08. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  15. ^ Kelly Cryderman (2013-09-03). "Olympic speed skater Anastasia Bucsis 'so proud to be gay'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  16. ^ "French President Joins Boycott of Sochi Olympics". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
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  19. ^ "Figure Skater Brian Boitano Comes Out As Gay Ahead Of Sochi Olympics". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  20. ^ Kate Auletta (2014-01-10). "Sochi Travel Alert: U.S. State Department Issues Warning For Americans During Olympics". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  21. ^ Shaun Walker in Moscow. "Vladimir Putin: gay people at Winter Olympics must 'leave children alone': Russian president vows no discrimination but says gay people must observe law banning 'homosexual propaganda'". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
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  23. ^ "Gay protester detained in Russia". ESPN. 2014-01-18. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  24. ^ Scott Wooledge (2014-01-23). "McDonald's #CheersToSochi Campaign Meets With LGBT Backlash". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  25. ^ Michelangelo Signorile (2014-01-28). "Olympic Sponsors Were Warned About Sochi; Now McDonald's and Coca-Cola Are Having a PR Nightmare". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  26. ^ Russian Olympics Chief Contradicts IOC Head On Political Statements, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  27. ^ a b Bond, David (2014-01-29). "Sochi 2014: UK cash for Russian gay rights campaigners". BBC. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  28. ^ "GLAAD unveils Olympic Playbook, launches Global Voices program". Glaad.org. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  29. ^ Owen Gibson; Shaun Walker. "Olympians urge Russia to reconsider 'gay propaganda' laws: Current and former Olympians criticise Games officials and sponsors for lack of action over anti-gay measures". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  30. ^ "'Anything But Coke' College Campaign Pushes For Lgbt Rights In Russia: Video". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  31. ^ "Thousands Gather In Stockholm To Sing In Support Of The Lgbt People In Russia: Video". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  32. ^ "Sochi Olympics Surrounded By Turmoil". Stlouis.cbslocal.com. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  33. ^ "LGBT protests focus on Olympic sponsors Coke and McDonald's". Canada.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  34. ^ "Suomalainen olympiauimari kaapista ulos – "Vihdoin voin olla oma itseni"" (in Finnish). Yle. 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  35. ^ "Finnish Olympian Swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen Comes Out As Gay To Raise Awareness About Sochi". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  36. ^ a b "Russian Teen Punished For 'Gay Propaganda'". Rferl.org. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  37. ^ Leasca, Stacey (2014-02-06). "Canadian PSA: 'The Olympics have always been a little gay'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  38. ^ a b James Nichols (2014-02-04). "AT&T Becomes First Major U.S. Corporation To Condemn Russia's Anti-Gay Laws". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  39. ^ a b "Gay Norwegian minister to take husband to Sochi Paralympics". Ca.reuters.com. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  40. ^ Thomson Reuters Foundation (2014-02-04). "Olympics-Don't protest for gay rights in Sochi – Olympic village mayor". Trust.org. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  41. ^ Lucien Mae (2014-01-15). "Russian Olympic Village "mayor" speaks up for controversial law". Dot429.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  42. ^ "Athletes in Sochi must speak up about Russia's intolerance. I did it in the NFL: Olympians shouldn't be silent about abuse against LGBTQ people in Russia. Doing what's right is better than winning". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
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  44. ^ "Chobani Yogurt Ceo: 'We Oppose Russia's Anti-Lgbt Law'". Towleroad.com. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  45. ^ "Chobani Shows Its Pride: Photo". Towleroad.com. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  46. ^ "Newfoundland And Labrador Communities To Raise Gay Pride Flags During Olympics". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  47. ^ "Rainbow flag raised at Calgary's City Hall in support of gay rights". CBC News. 2014-02-07. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  48. ^ Pat Murphy. "Google doodle points to Olympic Charter in defending all athletes". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  49. ^ Mark Molloy. "Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: Rainbow Google Doodle supports gay rights in Russia | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  50. ^ "Rainbow Google doodle links to Olympic charter as Sochi kicks off: Search engine's logo presented in the colours of the rainbow flag to coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  51. ^ Curtis M. Wong (2014-02-07). "Russian LGBT Activists Arrested Under 'Gay Propaganda' Law In St. Petersburg". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  52. ^ Ng, Philiana. "Olympics: Obama, Bob Costas Chat About 'Tough Guy' Putin During Interview (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  53. ^ "Nobody Tell Russia, But Look How Super Gay Their Olympics Opening Ceremony Was". Huffington Post. 2014-02-07. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  54. ^ "22 Russians Who We Won't Let Vladimir Putin Forget Were LGBT". The Advocate. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  55. ^ "Russian pop duo tATu support Moscow Pride". Pink News. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  56. ^ "Sochi: Fake Lesbian Russian Pop Duo t.A.T.u. to Perform at Olympics' Opening Ceremony". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  57. ^ "NBC Edited Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Remarks From Opening Ceremony Broadcast". Towleroad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
  58. ^ "NBC Edits Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Statement From Opening Ceremony". Deadspin.com. 2014-02-07. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  59. ^ James Nichols (2014-02-07). "Cheryl Maas, Lesbian Snowboarder In Russia, Raises Rainbow Glove In Sochi". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
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