Google makes a point on gay rights at Sochi Games

Fri Feb 7, 2014 2:40am EST
 
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By Timothy Heritage

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Google has placed a rainbow version of its logo on its search page, increasing pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia's "gay propaganda" law at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The page now shows a winter sports competitor above each of the six letters in the U.S. Internet giant's name, set against backgrounds in the six colors on the gay pride flag - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

The page also includes a quote from the Olympic charter underlining the right to practise sport without discrimination.

"The practice of sport is a human right. 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," it says.

Google Inc. did not immediately comment.

The international outcry over the law, signed by Putin last year, threatens to undermine his hopes of using the Games to portray Russia as a modern state that has come a long way since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Putin says the legislation, banning gay propaganda among minors, is needed to protect young people. Critics says it fosters a climate of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups.

Telecoms company AT&T, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team, criticized Russia this week over the law, increasing pressure on other companies to speak out.   Continued...