Gays Protest Putin’s Homophobic Laws at U.S. Olympic Committee SOCHI Launch

Photo by Scott Wooledge
Photo by Scott Wooledge

New York, NY (October 29, 2013) — Two dozen members of Queer Nation interrupted the smooth flow of the opening event of the US Olympic Committee’s Road to Sochi tour, which launched in Times Square today.

As the Road to Sochi event began at 12:00 pm with a press conference featuring Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Queer Nation unfurled banners that read “Don’t Buy Putin’s Lies!” and “Boycott Homophobia” just yards from the press conference stage and chanted “USOC Out of Sochi” and “Olympics Out of Russia” for roughly 30 minutes.
The Road to Sochi tour launches a 100-day countdown to the start of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

In June, the Russian government enacted legislation that effectively bans any pro-LGBT statement in public or private and on the Internet. In July, a law banning adoptions of Russian children by people from any jurisdiction that allows same sex marriage took effect. Activists have called for the Games to moved from Russia, citing its abysmal human rights record, including its attacks on LGBT Russians.

“The USOC and the international community should not legitimize Russia’s violations of fundamental human rights by holding the Games in that country,” said Duncan Osborne, a member of Queer Nation, an LGBT rights groups. “Russia has placed itself well outside the bounds of global human rights standards and no international event should be held there.”

The protest is the latest in a series of high profile protests launched by Queer Nation that included an October 28 confrontation with Moscow government officials at a meeting promoting US investment in Russia held at the Princeton Club in Manhattan and protests against Putin supporters conductor Valery Gergiev and soprano Anna Netrebko at Carnegie Hall on October 10 and the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala on September 23.

Queer Nation is a direct action group dedicated to ending discrimination, violence and repression against the LGBT community. Website: Twitter: @QueerNationNY.

San Francisco:

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