Canadian Olympic speed skater joins protest of Russia’s ban on homosexual propaganda

"Taking on an advocacy role seems natural, because I am proud to be both an athlete and gay," Bucsis said in a press release.
Fri Sep 20, 2013 - 4:14 pm EST

CALGARY, Alberta, September 20, 2013 ( - Canadian Olympic hopeful Anastasia Bucsis, who announced publicly that she was a lesbian at the Calgary gay pride parade earlier this month, made another announcement on Wednesday, September 18: she has joined "Athletes Ally," a homosexualist activist organization, in protest against a Russian law that bans homosexual propaganda directed at children. 

"Taking on an advocacy role seems natural, because I am proud to be both an athlete and gay," Bucsis said in a press release. 

"I started speed skating at the age of four, and wasn't aware of any other gay skaters when growing up; during my 'coming out' I was very anxious and lonely because I lacked having an ‘out’ athletic role model. I didn't have any other gay athletic friends, or any mentors that I could readily turn to for advice or support. I am ready to help any athlete out there who is considering coming out of the closet. It's the best decision I ever made," she stated. 


Bucsis, 24, announced she was a lesbian on Twitter moments before taking part in Calgary's pride parade on September 1.

"I'm proud to be from Calgary, I'm proud to be an athlete, and I'm proud to be gay," she said in the tweet.

In an interview with the Calgary Herald after the parade, Bucsis said that in light of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi she decided to make a public statement of her sexual orientation and her opposition to the Russian law. 

“I don’t think that law is reflective at all of the Olympic spirit. It’s unfortunate, but I do have faith in the IOC and the Canadian Olympic Committee, that we will be safe and it will be a great Games,” Bucsis said. 

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In June the Russian Parliament voted 436 to 0 to pass a total ban on homosexual propagandizing by foreign or domestic activists. 

The law is an amendment to a previous law, passed in December 2010, aimed at protecting children and family life in Russia. 

Although homosexuality itself is not illegal or prosecuted in Russia, the new law prohibits the promotion of homosexuality and other deviant sexual behaviors to minors, by making it illegal to give children "information aimed at forming non-traditional sexual behavior among children, suggesting this behavior is attractive, and making a false statement about the socially equal nature of traditional and non-traditional relationships.” 

The legislation effectively outlaws “gay pride” events and stops attempts by foreign homosexualist activist groups to normalize their lifestyles or campaign for same-sex legal recognition in Russia. 

A Russian poll found that the homosexual propaganda ban has the support of 88 percent of the Russian people. 

Moreover, human rights organizations from around the world have come out in support of Russia’s effort to protect children from homosexual propaganda. 

A statement from the Spain-based organization Profesionales por la Etica affirms that the Russian law is an important step towards fulfilling international obligations towards the family and minors. 

Russia is protecting “genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated false values” like sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the statement. 

Profesionales por la Etica, which is coordinating an international effort in support of the Russian law, said that organizations from around the world are “rushing” to offer their support, with 71 human rights groups having stated their support in just one week. 

While homosexual athletes are trying to drum up support for their intended protest of Russian law at the Sochi Olympics, there is very little popular support for such a protest. 

Polls conducted in various countries found that an average of about two thirds of respondents disagreed with a protest of the Sochi Olympics or had no opinion. 

A US poll that asked how Russia's law against homosexual propaganda would affect plans to attend the 2014 Olympics or to watch on television found that 81 percent of respondents said the law makes no difference to their plans to travel to Sochi, while almost 70% said it makes no difference to their intention to watch the games on TV. 

The International Olympic Committee's charter specifically prohibits demonstrations or political propaganda in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas. (Bylaw to Rule 50.) 

"Any violation of the provisions of the present clause may result in disqualification or withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned. The decisions of the IOC Executive Board regarding this matter shall be final," the regulation states. 

  anastasia bucsis, olympics, russia

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