With Russia still facing mounting criticism for LGBT discrimination on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics, a Canadian diversity group has released a video reminding us that the games "have always been a little gay."
In the ad, two athletes carry out the starting movement for the luge, a small one or two-person sled, which involves much thrusting back and forth. The 1980s hit "Don't you want me," plays throughout the video. The ad ends with the line, "The games have always been a little gay, let's fight to keep them that way."
Russia, which is hosting a winter games for the first time, has come under mounting criticism since the government passed an anti-gay propaganda law last year which critics say curtails rights of homosexuals and discriminates against them.
“The discrimination in Russia is unacceptable,” Michael Bach, Founder and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, said on the organization's website. “As an organization, we want to show our support, especially for the athletes competing at the Olympics in Sochi.”
On Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned discrimination and attacks on people based on their sexual orientation.
Speaking on the eve of the opening ceremony, Ban told an International Olympic Committee (IOC) session: "Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century."
"We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people," Ban said. "We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the anti-gay propaganda law as protecting minors and has said homosexuals will not be discriminated against during the Sochi Olympics.
Ban said sport had the power to further human rights but made no specific reference to the controversial law in Russia or the country itself.
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