Same Sex Hand Holding at Sochi

Pride House International have announced their Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative, a campaign that is part of the group’s response to the International Olympic Committee’s choice of Russia as host nation for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In June 2013, the State Duma (Russian federal legislature) passed a law prohibiting “the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.” This legislation makes any expression of real or perceived homosexuality – even something as innocuous as same-sex hand-holding – potentially illegal.
In the weeks since the bill passed, numerous activist groups have come forward in protest with various demands from a change of venue to a complete boycott.
“The very first thing the members of the Pride House International coalition did was to ask our Russian counterparts for their leadership on our campaign,” said Lou Englefield, Director of Pride Sports UK and PHI coordinator. “Any response, no matter how well-meaning, would be inappropriate without the input of LGBT sportspeople in Russia”. Konstanin Yablotskiy from the Russian LGBT Sports Federation is part of Pride House International, and was instrumental in conceptualizing the Same-Sex Hand-Holding.
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