Mayor says Sochi has no gay people

Police officers walk in front of the main station at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort in the western Caucasian mountains near Krasnaya Polyana some 50 km outside of the Black Sea city of Sochi,
Police officers walk in front of the main station at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort in the western Caucasian mountains near Krasnaya Polyana some 50 km outside of the Black Sea city of Sochi,
Credit: Getty Images

The country of Iran and the city of Sochi, Russia, have no gay people – if you believe their leaders, that is. Anatoly Pakhomov, mayor of Sochi, told the BBC that gay people don’t have to stay in the closet in Sochi, because there are no homosexuals. “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life,” he said. “But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.”

The off-color comment was reminiscent of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s now infamous 2007 remark that there were no gays in Iran. When the reporter challenged Pakhomov, he admitted that he wasn’t completely certain if his statement was accurate: “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”

Pakhomov did say that gay people are welcome as long as they don’t “impose their habits on others.”

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, on the other hand, pointed out that Sochi is home to a few gay bars. He mocked Pakhomov’s stance and said, “As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi. How do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt?” At one of the clubs, drag queen Madame Zhu-Zha told the BBC that Sochi had a gay community and two gay clubs.

The site of the 2014 Winter Olympics has been a hotbed of controversy after Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to minors in June 2013. Many celebrities are protesting the Olympics as a result.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…