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Canadian athletes join protest of anti-gay laws before 2014 Olympics

August 05, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Onlookers watch the Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday.
Onlookers watch the Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday. (Darryl Dyck / Associated…)

VANCOUVER, Canada -- With the 2014 Sochi Games only seven months away, Russia's anti-gay laws continue to be a point of concern in the Olympic world.

This weekend, Canadian athletes Mike Janyk and Mercedes Nicoll took part in gay pride festivities that saw thousands jamming the streets of Vancouver on a sunny, bright Sunday.

"Rocking out olympians supporting in the Vancouver pride parade," Janyk tweeted during the day. "Lots of fun with @mercedes nicoll."

The pair drew support from the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

"Today, as our Canadian Olympic athletes march in Vancouver Pride 2013, we are reminded that sport is a human right and that everyone - regardless of race, religion, creed or sexual orientation - has the right to participate free of discrimination," Marcel Aubut said in a statement released to various media outlets.

Russia has banned the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors." That makes it illegal to speak about gay rights and relationships where young people might overhear.

Amid worldwide protests, the International Olympic Committee has said the laws will not be enforced among athletes at the Games.

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