President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, signs a law that criminalizes LGBT symbols as the rainbow flag and published works containing homosexual content. Responding to international concerns about Russia’s legislation, Putin explains that the law is a “ban on the propaganda of pedophilia and homosexuality” and states that homosexual visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympics should “leave the children in peace”. Putin denies there is any “professional, career or social discrimination” against homosexuals in Russia.

During the Olympic Games in Sochi unauthorized pro-LGBT rallies occur in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Italian activist Vladimir Luxuria (the first ever openly transgender Member of parliament in Europe) is detained in Sochi after wearing a rainbow-colored outfit, chanting slogans, and holding a banner reading “Gay is OK” in Russian whilst entering an Olympic venue.

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