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article imageMayor of Sochi claims there are zero gay people in Olympic city

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 27, 2014 in Politics
On Monday the mayor of the city of Sochi, Russia, Anatoly Pakhomov, told the BBC that they do not have a gay person in the Olympic city. Not even one homosexual, Mayor Pakhomov said. However, he soon made a retraction...sort of.
“We don’t have them in our town," Mayor Pakhomov told John Sweeney of 'Panorama' on the BBC One. When Sweeney pressed him on there being zero gay persons, allegedly, in Sochi, Pakhomov said "I'm not sure, I don't bloody know them."
The population of Sochi is somewhere over 340,000.
Russian anti-gay legislation
Laws passed in June in Russia make it illegal to promote the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors," making it illegal to even claim that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships. They've also made it illegal to distribute material supporting gay rights. Further, gay and lesbian couples within the country do not receive the same benefits or protection under the law.
The Sochi mayor maintained that everyone was welcome to Sochi and said that providing members of the LGBT community obeyed the law and did not “impose their habits and their will on others" they, too, would be welcome.
It may be hard for LGBT groups in Sochi to refute Mr. Pakhomov's claims that they in fact don't exist there, as to do so could be illegal under the anti-gay propaganda laws.
More about Mayor of Sochi, sochi olympics, russia and gays, Homosexuality, Gay
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