UN Secretary-General condemns homophobia ahead of Sochi Winter Olympics

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon condemns sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals in a speech to Olympic officials in Sochi on Thursday.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has condemned sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals in a speech to Olympic officials in Sochi, telling the audience that hatred of any kind is not to be tolerated.

Ban made no direct reference to gay rights in Russia earlier today, but his comments, made two days before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, come amid reports of homophobic behaviour in the Federation and in Sochi.

"Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century," Ban told a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

"We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments and discriminatory restrictions they face."

Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, has previously claimed that gay people are non-existent in the region.

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Sebastian Coe attends a press conference ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Main Press Center (MPC) on February 6, 2014
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