SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Two days ahead of the Olympic opening ceremonies in Russia, there's new criticism today aimed at the Russian law banning what's described as pro-gay "propaganda."
A U.N. committee on children's rights is urging Russia to repeal the law, saying it encourages discrimination and violence. Yesterday, U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor AT&T said the law was harmful to a diverse society.
Meanwhile, some athletes are hinting at the law as they start training for events in Sochi. American figure skater Ashley Wagner joked that the Sochi color scheme reminds her of the rainbow flag that symbolizes gay pride. She said, "It doesn't really matter where I am. It's still my opinion." She said, "I just believe in equality for all."
In downtown St. Petersburg today, hundreds of miles from Sochi, about a dozen Russian gay rights activists protested the games. Two of them unfurled banners that equated the Sochi games with the ones held in Nazi Germany in 1936. Single-person protests are legal in Russia -- and the two activists were spaced far enough apart that neither was arrested.
APPHOTO MOSB122: A gay rights activist holds a banner in front of a large clock showing the number of days left until the start of the Olympic games as police officers approach, left, in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Russian gay rights activists protested the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi. Two activists unfurled banners reading "Berlin 1936 = Sochi 2014," referring to the Olympic Games that were held in the capital of Nazi Germany. One-man pickets are legal in Russia and the two activists holding signs were spaced far enough apart that neither was arrested. (AP Photo/Elena Ignatyeva) (5 Feb 2014)
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