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Protest Antigay Russian Law by Holding Hands, Says Rights Group

By Trudy Ring

Pride House International, an LGBT equality group focusing on sports, is calling for attendees at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to protest the nation’s new antigay law by taking “every opportunity to hold hands with a person of the same sex.”

Pride House announced the Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative on its blog this week. The so-called gay propaganda law approved by the Russian government this summer, banning any “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations” that might be seen by minors, “makes any expression of real or perceived homosexuality — even something as innocuous as same-sex hand-holding — potentially illegal,” the blog post notes.

The group is encouraging participation by athletes, staff, media, officials, spectators, sponsors, vendors, and fans. For safety, it recommends that “hand-holding should happen only in public view with as many witnesses as possible.” There have been several instances of violence against LGBT people in Russia this summer.

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