Organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia reacted
dismissively to news that gay icon Cher had turned down an offer to be a
part of the opening ceremonies.
“I can't name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch
over there, and asked me if I'd like to be an ambassador for the
Olympics and open the show,” Cher said last week in a wide-ranging
interview with Canadian weekly Maclean's.
“I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate
just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don't feel the
way the government does.”
On Wednesday, the organizing committee for the games responded by
denying ever inviting Cher.
“There have never been any negotiations with Cher about her
possible participation in the ceremonies,” the committee is quoted
as saying by The
Wall Street Journal.
Preparations for the upcoming games have been overshadowed by
calls to boycott the Winter Olympics over passage of two anti-gay
laws. The laws, signed over the summer by President Vladimir Putin,
prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian-born children
and the public promotion of gay rights where minors might be present,
effectively banning Gay Pride marches and similar demonstrations.
Russian officials have said that its “gay propaganda” law would
be in effect at the Sochi games and that athletes or guests who
violate the law will be detained.
video claims gays adopt children “to satisfy their sexual desire.”)