Obama To Send Two Lesbians To Sochi, “Snubs” Country Anti-LGBT Laws
Russia passed strict anti-gay propaganda earlier this year and the country has been facing international criticism ever since. Russia has gone back and forth on their stance on LGBT issues and the Olympics.
The Associated Press is reporting President Obama is sending two lesbian athletes as part of the US delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in what is being called a snub to Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda laws.
Former tennis star and out-lesbian Billie Jean King and female hockey player and lesbian Caitlin Cahow will be part of the delegation, and for the first time since 2000, the US President’s Administration hasn’t sent a former president, current president, first lady or vice president to the national event.
Russia passed strict anti-gay propaganda earlier this year and the country has been facing international criticism ever since. Russia has gone back and forth on their stance on LGBT issues and the Olympics. In July of this year, Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov said any pro-LGBT displays would face charges by the state, but in October of this year, President Putin said LGBT should not be threatened by attending the Olympics.
As for Obama’s stance on Russia’s laws, in August 2013 the President told late night host Jay Leno “I have no patience for countries that treat gays and lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them, or are harmful to them.”
Michael Cole-Schwartz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, applauded Obama for making this statement with the US delegation. “It’s a positive sign to see openly gay representatives in the delegation… Hopefully it sends a message to the Russian people and the rest of the world that the United States values the civil and human rights of LGBT people.”