Google Celebrates LGBT Athletes Ahead of Sochi Opening Ceremonies

by Charles Joughin

Commemorative rainbow Olympic-themed logo quotes fair-minded Olympic charter undermined by Russia’s hateful laws

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, cheered a move by Google to show solidarity with LGBT Russians and visiting athletes. With the opening ceremonies in Sochi just hours away, Google updated its home page with a special rainbow-colored Olympic-themed version of its iconic logo.

Yet the visual gesture also comes with an edge. Google also quotes a portion of the Olympic Charter which many feel has been undermined by choosing to host the game in a nation with such virulently anti-LGBT laws.

"The practice of sport is a human right,” the Olympic Charter reads. “Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." Clicking on the logo leads to the Google search results for the phrase “Olympic Charter.”

This very pointed gesture comes after months of frustration and anger with the International Olympic Committee and Olympic corporate sponsors for their apparent willingness to turn a blind eye on LGBT Russians and the discrimination and violence they face every day.

In response to the news, HRC President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“Google has once again proven itself to be a true corporate leader for equality,” said Griffin. “Alongside Olympic sponsors like AT&T, Google has made a clear and unequivocal statement that Russia’s anti-LGBT discrimination is indefensible. Now it’s time for each and every remaining Olympic sponsor to follow their lead. The clock is ticking, and the world is watching.”

IOC and Sochi corporate sponsors include: The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric, Panasonic of North America, Atos, McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Omega, Samsung Electronics, Coca-Cola, and Visa Inc. Company.

For the latest as the situation in Sochi develops and the Olympic Games get underway, get up-to-the-minute updates from HRC at:

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.



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