Canada PSA Supports LGBT Rights At Sochi: 'The Games Have Always Been a Little Gay' (VIDEO)
Let's call the Olympics what they are and always have been: expensive, inspiring, dangerous, and a little bit gay. That's the message the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion attempted to communicate in a PSA released on YouTube Tuesday, three days before the 2014 Olympics began in Sochi, Russia, in response to the host country's heavily criticized stance on gay rights. The video, created by Toronto- and Vancouver-based advertising agency Rethink Communications, shows a male luge team rocking back and forth at the beginning of their run. It’s an action every luge team performs to build momentum for a run, but when you slow it down, as the video does (to the tune of Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”), it's suddenly clear how much the movement and the position resembles ... another activity.
The tagline at the end reads, “The games have always been a little gay. Let’s fight to keep them that way."
The video is the latest in a long list of gestures entities around the globe have made in criticism of Russia’s laws restricting LGBT rights. Friday morning, in advance of the opening ceremonies, Google changed it’s doodle — the graphic on the main Google search page — to a depiction of several winter olympic sports on rainbow colored tiles, accompanied by a quote from the Olympic Charter about athletes' right to compete "without discrimination of any kind":
And AT&T posted a statement on the company's website Tuesday stating they "stand against Russia's anti-L.G.B.T. law ... Russia's law is harmful to L.G.B.T. individuals and families, and it's harmful to a diverse society."
The Russian government has expressed its hostility toward LGBTQ citizens and visitors in numerous ways in recent years, from banning gay pride parades in Moscow for 100 years, to fairly blatant state encouragement of homophobia, to cracking down on gay "propaganda" in advance of the Olympics. In what many found to be telling expression of Russia's official rejection of LGBT individuals, Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, recently stated that there are no gay people in Sochi, or if there are, "I don’t bloody know them."
The U.S. expressed its opposition to Russia’s stance in the form of President Obama’s Olympic delegation, which includes gay former Olympians Brian Boitano (figure skating) and Caitlin Cahow (ice hockey). On Friday, Boitano told USA Today, "Everyone knows why we're here. We've made it obvious and quite public as to why Caitlin (Cahow) and I are supporting the delegation and are here. I think Russians know that and I think Americans know that and we're proud to come from a country who supports tolerance and diversity and we stand strong.”
When the White House announced the delegation in December, it issued a statement saying that the group "represents the diversity that is the United States."
The Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion is doing a nice job of representing the diversity that is Canada:
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