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Protests over Russian anti-gay law focus on Sochi

January 31, 2014

Despite seven months of international outcry, Russia’s law restricting gay-rights activity remains in place. Yet the protest campaign has heartened activists in Russia and caught the attention of its targets — including organizers and sponsors of the upcoming Sochi Olympics.

Over the past two weeks, major sponsors Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have seen some of their Sochi-related social media campaigns commandeered by gay-rights supporters who want the companies to condemn the law. Several activists plan to travel to Sochi, hoping to team up with sympathetic athletes to mount protests.

And on Friday, a coalition of 40 human-rights and gay-rights groups from the U.S. and Europe released an open letter to the 10 biggest Olympic sponsors, urging them to denounce the law and run ads promoting equality for gays.

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