Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 8/18/13
Russian athletes Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova shared a kiss on the medal stand Saturday after winning gold at the World Athletics Championships in the 4×400 meter relay, sparking a debate over whether the gesture was a sign of celebration, or a defiant protest of their country’s anti-LGBT laws. Neither athlete has released a statement about the kiss and it was unclear Sunday if it was in protest. The kiss nevertheless is a slap in the face of Russia’s law banning any form of “homosexual propaganda.” While Sky News seems certain that the kiss was a political statement, others aren’t so sure. Gay Star News says it is “unclear” whether the kiss was merely a sign of affection or whether the athletes were “blatantly defying Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws since neither of the athletes have released a statement.” Regardless, the kiss could land the athletes in legal trouble considering it expressly goes against the much-criticized law that bans anything that may be seen as a promotion
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