A gay rights demonstrator is arrested at a protest in Russia in early 2009. Dawn One(CC BY 2.0)
In a speech ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.N. secretary-general condemned attacks on Russia’s LGBT community, amid growing criticism of the country’s “gay propaganda” laws.
The Guardian reports:
Ban Ki-moon, addressing the IOC before Friday’s opening ceremony, highlighted the fact that the theme of the UN’s human rights day last December was “sport comes out against homophobia”.
“Many professional athletes, gay and straight, are speaking out against prejudice. We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people,” he said. “We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face.”
“The United Nations stands strongly behind our own ‘free and equal’ campaign, and I look forward to working with the IOC, governments and other partners around the world to build societies of equality and tolerance. Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century.”