When the German Olympics team stepped out into the spotlight sporting bright rainbow uniforms, gay rights supporters hailed the gesture as an act of defiance against Russia’s recent anti-gay laws. But according to sources like the Huffington Post, the colorful uniforms had absolutely no tie to gay rights at all.
The German Olympics Sports Federation (DOSB) is disputing claims that the uniforms hold any political weight or pro-gay message, with spokesperson Christian Klaue reportedly stating that “the uniforms are not a protest.”
Considering the other jabs at Russia’s discrimination laws like Google’s rainbow header and the Greek Olympic team’s rainbow gloves, many gay rights supporters have expressed their disappointment via social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr.
“I really wanted to believe that Germany was on my side with this one,” said one user in the ‘gayolympics’ hash tag on Twitter.
But even with Germany dropping out of the Russian protest race, there are still plenty of people subtly and not-so-subtly revolting against Putin’s discriminatory laws. Last summer, actress Tilda Swinton stood outside of Moscow’s capital building with a giant rainbow flag in defense of Russia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. After posting a photo to Twitter, the story went viral, but several tourists attempting to replicate her act were subjected to 15 days detention in Russian jail.
However, as of Feb. 10, several cities across Canada are flying the rainbow pride flag from government buildings during the Olympics in protest of the anti-LGBT law, and in support of LGBT Russians. In addition, a Russian LGBT pride flash mob held a gay pride parade in Cambridge, England with a same-sex “kiss-in”. The effort will be a part of a UK-wide video project called “To Russia With Love.”
So although the German Olympic team has yet to step up and join the other parts of the world in protest of Russian anti-gay laws, there are still plenty of people willing to show their support for their fellow human beings and their rights.