MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin is eager to show everyone will be welcome—with open arms—to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the resort town of Sochi, according to Reuters.
Putin told International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach on Monday:
We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation.
Gay activist Ken Kidd isn’t buying the Sochi schtick that Putin’s selling. Kidd and other allies of GLBT Russians will protest the kickoff of U.S. Olympic Committee’s Road To Sochi Tour–slated to take place Tuesday at noon in Times Square. Liberty Mutual Insurance is co-sponsoring the event.
Protesters will carry a 50-foot banner, which Gay Pride Flag creator Gilbert Baker hand-crafted. according to Queer Nation NY. Kidd called Putin’s promise as “as dishonest and fake as the snow they are manufacturing in subtropical Sochi.”
[He] knows that the eyes of the world are on him and his pet project, the Sochi Games; he will say anything to deny the truth about his all-out war on diversity in general and on LGBT people specifically.
Kidd stressed that Putin’s just “temporarily curbing” some of the most blatant human rights atrocities to protect his nation’s $50 billion Olympic-sized investment and boost Russia’s economy.
Kidd’s active opposition of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has also included campaigning against sponsors, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Solichnaya vodka.
Edited/Published by: SB