Russian LGBT Group Calls for Boycott of Sochi Olympics; Says Gay People Not Safe There

A Russian LGBT group is calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, RIA Novosti reports:

SochiThe group is calling for a boycott of the games, saying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is not safe in Russia – and they hope even those who are not gay will support the ban.

“LGBT people in Russia are scared, they live in fear, and we want people to be aware of the issue. If they feel strongly about human rights they should boycott the Olympics in Sochi,” said Nina Long, co-president of RUSA LGBT, a Russian-speaking LGBT organization based in New York.

“We really want the LGBT community to know it’s unsafe to travel there,” she said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
A statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did little to ease her concerns, Long said.

The committee told RIA Novosti in a statement that the IOC has a long commitment to non-discrimination against Olympic athletes, adding that “athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.”

The group, as we reported over the weekend, plans to have its first-ever float in the NYC Pride Parade on June 30.

RIA Novosti continues:

Long and others say the issue of gay rights in Russia and FSU countries is more urgent now than ever before, with a growing conservative movement across the region that has led to new anti-gay laws and a growing homophobic environment.

Laws that forbid the spreading of propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations to minors started in local communities but grew to larger cities like St. Petersburg in 2012, and passed Russia’s lower house just last week.


  1. TONEZ says

    yup, I’m not watching it. And telling anyone who brings it up why. Such a disgusting place.

  2. Paul R says

    I don’t mean to sound awful, but good luck with an Olympics boycott. This will achieve nothing.

  3. bambinoitaliano says

    It’s time to move the venue away from Russia. Start pressuring major sponsors such as Coca Cola, McDonalds, Visas to withdraw their support. Money has always been a major motivator to effect change policy.

  4. lukebrux says

    I fear that Russi will like to set an example and arrest a gay athlete under the meida spot. Gay-hate is really popular in Russia and lots of local and national authorities dream of an opportunity like that.

  5. Paul says

    Yep. Boycott it and punish the athletes, just like the U.S. did in 1980. If no one boycotted the 2008 Summer Olympic in Beijing (we know they have a stellar human rights record) and no one is calling to boycott the 2016 Summer Olympic in Rio de Janiero (they are basically building a jail wall around their slum areas), then no one should be calling for these games to be boycotted.

  6. says

    I think this is great! The Olympics is a world wide stage and people need to know. @Paul, you are literally bring some of that to light with your pithy comment, so clearly this is not a lost cause, you moron.

  7. Paul says

    Name calling is the reaction of those who have no logical argument (or don’t like their hypocrisy being exposed).

  8. Mike Ryan says

    I love the Olympics but I also love my life as a gay person and I agree, the world should boycott Russia’s Olympics. If we could get just one country (hello U.S. – Jimmy Carter did it!) others would follow. Imagine if the U.S. pulled out? Yes, disappointing for our athletes but the Olympics are really 90% American athletes. Russia’s bigotry would be center stage and the financial loss would be overwhelming for closeted Putin. BOYCOTT! Call for a BOYCOTT!

  9. MaryM says

    “The Olympics are really 90% American athletes”

    Tell that to the participants from outside the US who win about 85% of the medals.

    Such an absurd comment.

  10. SFshawn says

    How is any openly gay athlete going to perform at their best in a country and culture that wants them DEAD!?
    Like it or not OPENLY GAY athletes from around the world should not become personal targets of the unmitigated hatred and stupidity of the Russian government and it’s flock of idiot followers? Who is going to protect these athletes and what happens if one is actually mistreated or even murdered? What will the Olympic Committee do then?
    How does the Olympic Committee even begin to justify holding world class events in countries that don’t even have human rights protections? What is the point of the Olympic Committee that touts it’s “non-discrimination” policies and then selects countries that don’t follow those policies or in fact actually practice widespread discrimination and bigotry on it’s population?
    I hope the Olympics fails on many levels since it’s already failed promoting the real spirit of the Olympics-Inclusiveness,Diversity and Competition. Dictatorships are not Democracy. Boycott Russia.

  11. Rick says

    Oh well, there goes the men’s figure skating events….(LOL)

    Seriously, though, nobody who is not a flamboyant queen and who behaves with reasonable discretion will be “in danger” in Sochi, in Russia in general, or anywhere else in the world.

    And the Olympics should NEVER be used for political purposes of any kind.

    Regardless, this boycott will go nowhere.

  12. SFshawn says

    What planet do you live on Rick?
    Every single day GLBT folks who are not ‘flamboyant queens’ and who behave with ‘reasonable discretion'(whatever that is?)are murdered. Your internalized homophobia is showing clearly with your antagonistic words towards our less masculine gay brothers and sisters. The Olympics are 1000% Political and just like every other bigoted,hateful,homophobic organization that claims they will never change(KKKatholic Church,Boy Scouts,US Government,etc) They ALWAYS lose. They ALWAYS are forced to change. It’s called progress.
    Money DOES talk and it will soon become evident to the Olympic Committee that they are in a no-win position unless they cancel or remove the Olympics from that wasteland of a country.

  13. Randy says

    Gay people who are able should go there to break the propaganda law and get arrested. Make it very, very public.

  14. Steve says

    Please take the time to read this petition and pass it along to your members. In doing some research, there has been little done to ensure the safety of LGBTQ persons in Russia, including those potentially visiting in 2014.
    Here’s some more information about this petition:

    Inform that having the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, jeopardizes the safety of the LGBTQ community.

    In the most recent events (June 29, 2013), gay rights activists are seen bloody during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russian police arrested dozens of people after an eruption in the city. It is now illegal to even admit homosexuality in public and also to equate the value of homosexual relationships with that of heterosexual relationships. Moreover, not only citizens, but foreigners can be arrested and detained for up to 15 days, fined and then deported. How can the International Olympic Committee guarantee the safety of LGBTQ persons either participating or attending in the audience at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People, a new feature on, and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 100,000 signatures by August 23, 2013, the White House will review it and respond!

    You can view and sign the petition here: