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UN secretary-general condemns Russia over anti-gay laws

2014-02-06
Russian_FlagThe secretary-general of the United Nations has condemned Russia for its attacks on its LGBT community. Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, urged people to speak out against the anti-gay laws. He said: "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. "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." Ki-moon also highlighted that the theme of the UN's human rights day in December was "sport comes out against homophobia". Speaking to the press after his speech, the secretary-general added: "I know there has been some controversy over this issue. "At the same time I appreciate the assurances of President Putin that there will be no discrimination and that people with different sexual orientation are welcome to compete and enjoy this Olympic Games." > Billie Jean King not attending Sochi Opening Ceremony