Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov is adding fuel to the antigay Russian fire in advance of the Winter Olympics by claiming that there are no gays in his city.
That’s pretty rich coming from someone with “homo” in his last name, but we digress.
The remarks were made during an interview with BBC television while promoting the Winter Olympics. “It is not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live,” Pakhomov said. “We do not have them in our city.”
Pakhomov’s comments must’ve been news to the rather sizable LGBT population in Sochi, as some were interviewed by BBC reporter John Sweeney the night before he spoke with the mayor.
Though most were understandably nervous about speaking on the record, he did manage to get a quote from one bold drag queen that goes by the name of Madame Zhu-Zha. “There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow — in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well,” she said. “In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places it’s not as bad.”
All eyes will be on Russia and their treatment of LGBT athletes, spectators, and citizens during the 2014 Winter Olympics, and boneheaded comments like this from Pakhomov don’t do much for their cause.