Sochi Olympics are a hotbed for LGBT rights

Posted by Kristen Bramhall

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are quickly becoming an international hotbed for LGBT rights, both inside and outside the events. American sponsors and representatives of the games are making their voices heard in the defense of global LGBT rights.

All three American delegates to the 2014 games- Caitlin Cahow, Billie Jean King, and most recently, Brian Boitano- announced they are proud to be serving as both delegates and as representatives of the LGBT community. But don’t think that the sexuality of the presidentially handpicked delegates is a coincidence. President Obama likely chose his delegates in direct response to the public ban on gay relationships Russian president Vladimir Putin signed this summer.

State side, Chevrolet premiered two commercials during U.S. coverage of the games featuring gay couples. Chevy, along with DeVry University, AT&T, and yogurt producer Chobani, has spoken out against the Russian law. Several official sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Committee who have chosen to remain silent over the issue are facing criticism on social media.

American Apparel, despite not having the status of an official Olympic sponsor, have made its presence known in Sochi through its bright red P6 Line, inspired by principle 6 of the Olympic charter: “Sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.”

Do you believe that nations participating in the Olympic games should be responsible for taking action against the injustices in Russia? Do you feel that Americans and American advertisements are making the impact they’re aiming for?

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3 responses to “Sochi Olympics are a hotbed for LGBT rights

  1. Yes. Changing hearts and minds about becoming more open to tolerance and acceptance can originate from anywhere. All it takes is for one person or company to make a stand for human rights. Even if just one person is affected and comes away from the presentation with new light, that is still progress. It doesn’t matter who it comes from – when it comes to equality, all it takes is a making a stand for what is considered equal.

  2. I don’t think it’s right to make any nation responsible for taking action against these injustices and forcing individuals to feel a certain way about LGBT rights. However, I do think that people should stand up for what they believe is right and do so respectfully. If an Olympic participant, of any nation, personally feels responsible for taking a stand for these injustices they most certainly should.

  3. I completely agree with Ariella’s comment. Very clearly, Russia’s stance on LGBT matters is not a popular one. Everyone should be allowed and free to express personal opinion on the matter, but to me, the bottom line is that the Olympics is a sporting event, not a political arena. The fact that it happens to be taking place in Russia doesn’t mean it should turn into a massive effort for LGBT rights. That being said, I do believe that freedom of expression is as important as ever, and should not be restricted in any way.

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