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The flag of the gay community more visible than ever

In support of the gay community, many cities around the world have hoisted the rainbow flag in protest against the homophobia of the host country of the Olympic Games, Russia.

Published on :


“Since the adoption by the Duma in June 2013 of a law punishing the propaganda of non-traditional sex  in front of the minors of a fine and days of detention - as well as of the expulsion of the country for the foreigners -, the question of the rights of the homosexuals is at the center of the controversies which agitate the preparation of the Games of Sochi. "
Source: The world
The National Assembly of Quebec has just made a symbolic gesture by hoisting the flag of the gay community in protest against the alleged homophobia of the host country of the Olympic Games. Quebec, like several other countries, shows its solidarity with homosexuals by denouncing the “homophobic” laws of Vladimir Poutine's Russia.
The following activities will provide a better understanding of this controversy associated with the host country of the Olympic Games.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Read a press article about anti-gay measures in Russia and answer questions for understanding;
- Summarize the Russian anti-gay law in a short paragraph;
- Understand why the Olympics are a good time to challenge homophobic laws;
- Discover the different actions that have been taken to denounce Russian homophobia;
- Understand that the Russian anti-gay law provokes a viral mobilization;
- Find an original method to support gay communities.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: What is Putin's anti-gay law?

First, ask the students if they are aware that gay rights are violated in Russia. Introduce students to the anti-gay law passed by Russia last year by reading the following article:
Homosexuality: Russia adopts anti-gay measures
Atlantico.fr, June 12, 2013
Then ask students to answer the following questions:
- How many deputies voted against the law?
- By what term has the word homosexual been replaced in the text?
- According to these laws, could gay tourists be imprisoned?
- Until what year was homosexuality considered a crime in Russia?
- Do the Russians support these laws adopted by their government?
Finally, ask them to summarize these laws in a short paragraph.

ACTIVITY 2: Support for the gay community

Before starting the activity, ask students if they can comment on why the Olympics is a good time to protest Russian homophobia.
Read them the following excerpt from the Olympic charter :
“The practice of sport is a human right. Each individual must have the opportunity to practice sport without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding, the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play ”
Now ask the students to identify some actions that have been taken to expose Russia's homophobia. To do this, they have to go to the web and search for different actions to complete a diagram similar to this:

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)


ACTIVITY 3: The impact of the controversy

The anti-gay laws adopted by Russia are at the heart of the controversy over the Olympic Games.
“Since the opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi, a significant global mobilization has been manifested, and in a creative way, to support sexual diversity and protest against the anti-gay law promulgated last year. "
Source: The Huffington Post
Vladimir Poutine, who wants to suppress the rights of homosexuals, is he not provoking one of the biggest viral mobilizations in support of gay communities?
As a whole class, discuss the consequences of Putin's maintenance of Russian anti-gay law.

For further

As a whole class, come up with an original idea to denounce Russian homophobic laws and support gay communities. Use social media to publicize your initiative.

More about the magazine

JO: call to demonstrate on February 5 against "anti-gay" discrimination
Release, January 31, 2014
Google interferes in debate over anti-gay legislation in Russia
Le Figaro, February 7, 2014
Sochi: culture mobilized for respect for the Olympic Charter
Le Figaro, February 7, 2014
The National Assembly wearing the rainbow flag
Le Soleil, February 11, 2014

About the Author

Véronique Lavergne
Véronique Lavergne
Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.

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