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Former Italian lawmaker briefly detained in Sochi for displaying ‘Gay is OK’ banner

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Update: Russian authorities say Vladimir Luxuria was never detained in Sochi. More here


SOCHI, Russia — A transgender activist and former member of the Italian Parliament was arrested and briefly detained by Russian authorities in Sochi after she reportedly held up a banner that read “Gay is OK,” according to the leader of an Italian gay rights group.

Vladimir Luxuria

Vladimir Luxuria

Vladimir Luxuria was arrested at the Olympic Park for allegedly violating the country’s anti-gay propaganda law, but was released with no charges filed, reported the Italian news agency ANSA.

Luxuria, 48, had announced her attention to stage a public protest at the entrance to the park in a series of text messages, according to Flavio Romani, president of Arcigay, an Italian gay-rights advocacy organization.

Romani said he had spoken to Luxuria by telephone from the police station where she said she had been detained, and again when she was released shortly after 3 a.m. local time in Sochi on Monday morning.

There has been no official confirmation by Russian authorities regarding her arrest.

Romani, who was in Italy, said that Luxuria planned to attend a hockey game Monday wearing the rainbow pride colors.

Earlier Sunday, she posted a photograph on Twitter of herself holding a rainbow-colored fan, with the message: “I’m in Sochi! Regards, with the colors of the rainbow, in Putin’s face!”

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Filed under: Europe

46 more reader comments:

  1. Shocking!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:50am
  2. Its ok to be Gay

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:52am
  3. yeh

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:09am
  4. its your right

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:09am
  5. Not in Russia.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:56am
  6. it's ok to be Takei.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:12am
  7. Too bad it's not ok to even be a supporter in Russia.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:52pm
  8. Who’s that

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:57am
  9. Smdh!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:58am
  10. Lgbtiq is ok to !

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:00am
  11. More Russian stupidity!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:01am
  12. If a mass amount of people at the olympics made a gay statement what wkhkd Russia do?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:01am
  13. Call their alies???

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:49am
  14. God bless

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:01am
  15. Wow! Russia’s laws are a complete joke. She is detained for displaying a beautiful banner that says “Gay is OK?”

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:04am
  16. Just keep on discrediting yourself Russia. The more crap you pull on this “Homosexual Propaganda” nonsense, the more heat you’re going to get for it.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:16am
  17. Why was this event held in a country that discriminates against people?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:19am
  18. Heriberto R Montalvo you think they should have held it in the US where every person is free … oh wait never mind ;)

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:22am
  19. It’s ok to be LGBTQ.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:30am
  20. Good for her <3

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:49am
  21. Only God knows what they do to their own citizens. I mean…. you have to pay a fine to simply be a tourist their… what a crock!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 6:56am
  22. Good for her and her intestinal fortitude. Very brave given the abhorrent circumstances.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:13am
  23. It’s perfectly OK to be gay ..

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:32am
  24. Surprised? NOT! & That’s why I don’t watch.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:57am
  25. Its ok to be gay, straight, or colourful

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:45am
  26. I am expecting the Swedes or Dutch to do this, not the Italians… Maybe Italy is not as conservative as I thought…

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:56am
  27. add me

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:00am
  28. God speed to Vladimir Luxuria !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Buddha walks with you my friend.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:09am
  29. The 2018 winters in South Korea will be so different. They’re already building and doing infrastructure shit…plus they have human rights

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:13am
  30. Good for her! Kick some ass!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:16am
  31. The Russian goverment should be detained/put on lock down until end if Olympics for being ignorant and STUPID!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:03am
  32. Russia…….yup I got nothing, literally, as a matter of fact the only thing good that ever came from that country was the game “Tetris”

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 12:30pm
  33. She was a dumbass for doing that outside the medal plaza like that and if somebody doesn’t want political demonstrations at the Olympics that’s okay but I’m sure that if this had been Shirley Phelps-Roper and her cronies they’d have let then stick around. Don’t want politics at the Olympics? Ask them to leave the Olympic park, don’t arrest them.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 12:47pm
  34. release her NOW

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 12:56pm
  35. I love it when someone stands up for others !

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:15pm
  36. Jasen Six Amen too that!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:18pm
  37. Oppression….

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:33pm
  38. It’s ok to be gay, gay pride, equality and diversity for all, BUT when in Rome… ((or in Russia…)) lol

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:59pm
  39. They can arrest us as much as they want we’ll still keep coming

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:09pm
  40. transpeople…still sticking up for gays in 2014 while they’re being left in the dust. someone remind organizations like HRC there would be no gay rights movement if it weren’t for brave transwomen at stonewall. ;)

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:18pm
  41. That’s right

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:21pm
  42. God Speed !

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:06pm
  43. And this is why athletes and people need to avoid the Russian Olympics. don’t get me wrong. I understand they worked hard to be there. But not being able to express yourself and wear a shirt that mentions anything about gays, without the fear of being arrested. Is wrong and unacceptable.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:42pm
  44. Where is the UN to rescue the gay people of Russia, Africa, and the Middle East. They seem so concerned with people in Somalia. What about the gay people persecuted in these backward countries?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 3:59pm
  45. messed up fuck russia and they’re Nazi kkk regime

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 4:05pm
  46. Is that Anthony Weiner ?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 5:37pm