Google Uses Gay Pride Rainbow Flag in Doodle Before Olympics

The letters spelling out Google on the Internet search engine’s homepage appear today, on the day of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, in the rainbow colors widely understood to represent gay pride.

The Google Doodle shows various athletes performing Winter Olympic sports, such as ice hockey, bobsled and snowboarding, with each in a color of the rainbow.

“The practice of sport is a human right,” the website says, quoting the Olympic Charter. “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.”

Russian Sports Minister Vitaliy Mutko said in August that athletes and spectators attending the Games, which last until Feb. 23, will face arrest, fines and deportation if they violate a Russian anti-gay law, which officials say is intended to protect children. The delegation of American dignitaries to the Sochi Games will include several gay members in a slap at Russia’s law banning public expressions of support for homosexuality.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation, a London-based human rights organization, has written a letter to the International Olympic Committee asking Russian officials to lift a ban on a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride House at the games.

“It is very disturbing that the IOC has not sought to overturn the ban on Pride House, despite being urged to do so way back in 2012 when the Russians announced that it would not be permitted,” foundation director Peter Tatchell said today in an open letter to IOC President Thomas Bach. “I hope that even at this late stage the IOC will take action to uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which prohibits discrimination.”

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