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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 16, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 11
Russian judge bans Olympics Pride House
Section One
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Russian judge bans Olympics Pride House

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Russian judge has banned a Gay Pride House at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Plans for the Pride House were developed by Russian Gay rights activists following the 2010 Games in Vancouver, which featured a very successful Pride House.

Russia's Ministry of Justice refused to register the NGO set up to organize and run the Sochi Pride House, however. Judge Svetlana Mordovina backed the ministry in her ruling.

'The aims of the organization contradict the basics of public morality and the policy of the state in the area of family, motherhood, and childhood protection,' she wrote.

'The activities of the [Pride House] movement leads to propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation which can undermine the security of the Russian society and the state, provoke social-religious hatred, which is the feature of the extremist character of the activity.

'Moreover it can undermine the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation due to the decrease of Russia's population.

'Such aims as creating an understanding of the necessity to fight against homophobia and the creation of positive attitudes towards LGBT sportsmen contradicts with the basics of public morality because they are directed towards the increase of the number of citizens of sexual minorities which breaches the understanding of good and evil, good and bad, vice and virtue,' Mordovina concluded.

Russian Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev mocked Mordovina's ruling.

'The judge forgot to add that Pride House in Sochi will lead to the melting of Arctic ice, global warming, and the end of mankind,' he joked.

As a representative of GayRussia, one of the groups hoping to organize Pride House in Sochi, Alekseev promised to continue to pursue the issue.

'We still aim to host a series of actions during the Olympics, and we are in contact with the International Olympic Committee. Hopefully, a solution can be reached,' he said.

'Our movement has been extremely active in the last years in Russia and this rendezvous [in Sochi] is a good occasion to share with others.

'What is still unclear for me following the ruling from the court is whether openly LGBT athletes will be allowed to compete in Sochi and if they are, if their safety will be guaranteed.'

This year's Summer Olympics in London definitely will feature a Pride House.

'What is happening in Russia today makes it that much more important for everyone to get behind the Pride House London project now,' Pride House London executive director Chad Molleken said.

'As one of the most diverse and tolerant cities in the world, London has the opportunity to permanently establish Pride House as a part of the Olympic movement and line up of national houses.

'Through the Pride House Foundation we hope to raise enough funds to support LGBT athletes and organizations like Pride House Russia to promote diversity and inclusion on a global scale.'

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