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This Winnipegger Wants Athletes To Rock Rainbow Pins At The Sochi Olympics
August 28, 2013
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Dayne Moyer, left, and a sign displayed at an Amsterdam protest against Russia's anti-gay legislation, August 25, 2013 (Photos: Dayne Moyer/Facebook/AP)

Dayne Moyer isn't happy about Russia's new anti-gay laws, and he's doing something about it. The Winnipegger wants athletes who are competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics to show support for Russia's LGBT community by displaying a symbol of gay pride on their uniforms at the Games.

Moyer, a student and sports fan, started a "Gold Medal Message" petition on Change.org, pushing for Olympic and Paralympic athletes to wear "a rainbow pride pin on their uniform at the opening ceremonies."

gold-medal-message-protesters.jpgEarlier this year, Russia passed a law banning "gay propaganda," and Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov recently stated that athletes and fans would not be immune from prosecution during the Games.

Moyer told Strombo.com that "the idea for the #GoldMedalMessage petition on Change.org came from an overwhelming feeling I had after hearing about Russia's brutal anti-gay laws that something needed to be done and that the Sochi Olympics needed to be this big moment of solidarity with Russia's LGBT community."

Other proposed responses to Russia's stance have ranged from Stephen Fry's call for "an absolute ban" on the Olympics to George Takei's proposal that the Games be moved to Vancouver.

New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup is already committed to wearing a rainbow pin at the games — he made the decision a few days after the #GoldMedalMessage campaign got under way, according to Moyer.

So far, Moyer's petition has more than 32,000 signatures. There has been no official response from the Canadian Olympic team so far, but Moyer points to some athletes who have expressed support.

Canadian Olympic hockey player Sami Jo Small wrote an op-ed piece in the Winnipeg Free Press that mentions the rainbow pin idea, and Megan Imrie, a biathlete who competed in the 2010 Olympics, has also said publicly that she'd wear a rainbow pin if the Canadian Olympic Committee approved the action.

Moyer is asking supporters to sign on, share the petition on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #GoldMedalMessage and contact their own Olympic team and ask them to display the rainbow pin.

"I believe the best way to send a message of love and solidarity to LGBT Russians is to have several countries participating," he says.

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