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'Don't boycott Sochi Olympics, wave gay flags instead'

Last updated on: August 13, 2013 17:01 IST

'Don't boycott Sochi Olympics, wave gay flags instead'

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A Democrat senator has reportedly suggested that countries should wave rainbow flags during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia to show support for gay rights, instead of boycotting them.

According to the Washington Times, in two separate victories for gay rights, a court struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, denying federal benefits to married gay couples, and cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

Stating that countries should wave rainbow flags to make their stand clear on gay rights, Senator Charles E Schumer said the action will be more embarrassing for Russia's President Vladimir Putin than even boycotting the Olympics.

The report further said legislation passed last year made it illegal in Russia to even speak about homosexuality in the presence of minors, with officials warning that the law could be applied to foreigners visiting Sochi for the Games.

However, South Carolina Republican senator Lindsey Graham called for a boycott of the Games in response to Russia's failure to return Edward Snowden, although US President Barack Obama rejected the notion, saying it is not appropriate as a number of American athletes there are training hard to succeed.


Image: A gay parade in Washington
Photographs: Sean Gallup/Getty Images