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LGBT activists protest Russia’s anti-gay laws at final USOC Olympic event

Sunday, February 23, 2014
Queer Nation NY

Queer Nation NY
Queer Nation activist protest outside Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on February 23.

NEW YORK — Nearly three dozen members of the gay rights activist group Queer Nation held a raucous protest on Sunday at the United States Olympic Committee’s final “Road to Sochi Tour” event at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

The action began just as the event began in historic Vanderbilt Hall, inside the terminal, with protesters chanting “Don’t Buy Putin’s Lies” and unfurling two banners, one reading “Don’t Buy Putin’s Lies” and the other reading “Boycott Homophobia.”

Some members also carried signs that read “Gay Bashing Is Not An Olympic Sport.” The banners were hand-sewn by Gilbert Baker, the designer of the original rainbow flag.

Queer Nation NYQueer Nation activist protest outside Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan on February 23.

Queer Nation NY

The Road to Sochi tour, which was produced by the U.S. Olympic Committee, kicked off on October 29, 100 days before the Olympics, in Times Square, where Queer Nation also disrupted that event. The tour traveled the country and was dogged by Queer Nation protests at its stops in Los Angeles and Boston.

Before and during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, which ended on February 23, the USOC has made no comment on Russia’s continuing human rights violations, including its attacks on LGBT Russians.

“The end of the Olympics is not the end of our confrontation with the Russian government,” said Alexis Danzig, a member of Queer Nation. “We will not be silent and we will not forget that the USOC was silent.”

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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.

A second recently enacted law bars adoption of Russian children by anyone living in a jurisdiction that allows same sex marriage.

The Russian parliament recently proposed legislation that would allow the government to remove children from a household headed by a gay or lesbian parent. While that legislation has been withdrawn ahead of the Olympics, activists believe the parliament will reintroduce it now that the Olympic games are over.

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16 more reader comments:

  1. its not the final event- still have the Paralympics

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:31pm
  2. If Putin’s OMOH get ahold of those protestors, they’ll be able to try out for the Paralympics.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:35pm
  3. Putin can’t do anything to them if they are in NYC like the photo shows

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:42pm
  4. Don’t let the end of the Olympics be the end of the pressure we put on the bigoted Putin regime!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:44pm
  5. I understand and support these protests, but it would be better to fix the problems in US 1st. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/21/us/arizona-anti-gay-bill/index.html?sr=sharebar_facebook

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:46pm
  6. Oh my god….. This just makes me sick…. To think that they would take a child from their home just because of one or both of their parents sexual orientation….. What did anyone in the LGBT community EVER do that would constitute this?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:20am
  7. wow that sure worked to stop Putin – good job #CheersToCluelessSUSAGays

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:41am
  8. Fuck Putin

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:46am
  9. Fuck that shit go to hell

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 12:47am
  10. Trudy SherlockHolmes Harris.. taking children from LGBT individuals was a regular practice in the US through 1979. also, STILL HAPPENING thatbeing LGBT can be a considered factor in decisions regarding custody of children in some states. those of us older than 40 really lived through hell to provide the progress we see today.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:24am
  11. It’s sick and unacceptable. Putin is a homophobic putz.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:26am
  12. What if they gave an Olympics and the world’s attention was focused on the host’s homophobia, revolt in a client state, and Bob Costas’s weeping eye?

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:37am
  13. i’m with you lot down with hate

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:44am
  14. Well Done!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:46am
  15. I always thought Russia was a beautiful country, but now all I see is ugly bigoted homophobia, I have longed to St Basil’s Cathedral, now I long for the Russian LGBTI communities safety.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:10am
  16. wish to do some thing for them really

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:15am