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Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 02/07/2014

OLYMPIC CHARTER: To mark start of Sochi Games, Google offers its most political Doodle yet in clear Putin rebuke over gay rights

Swifter. Higher. And oh, so much Stronger than ever.

To mark today’s start of the Sochi Olympic Games, Google has wasted no time in sporting perhaps its most overtly political Doodle yet by letting its true colors — and words — fly high.

In the wake of new anti-gay legislation in host country Russia, the California tech titan is making a statement on its home page.

First, the Doodle diverges from its typical color scheme — usually staying true to the hues of the Google logo — to instead reflect the rainbow of gay pride. Each of the six tints plays backdrop to an Olympic sport: downhill skiing, hockey, curling, bobsledding, figure skating and snowboarding.

Beneath the Doodle, Google lets the Games’ own words do the talking — showing support for athletes of every stripe and background and individual difference by quoting the Olympic charter:

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”


Google's Doodle for the 2014 Games. (courtesy of GOOGLE - .)

On Thursday, The Post’s Kathy Lally reports, Russia politicians were echoing a familiar tack in response to questions about whether gay, lesbian and bisexual athletes should feel safe at these Winter Games.

Lally writes: “At a news conference in Sochi Thursday, Dmitry Kozak, the Russian deputy prime minister overseeing the Olympics, was asked whether lesbian and gays would be under threat because of the law prohibiting ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ among minors.

“First he said Russia does not discriminate. Then he said every adult has a right to his own sexual orientation. He did not leave it at that.

“ ‘Please do not touch the kids,’ he said. ‘This is prohibited by law.’

“What? He was only repeating what the boss said. In mid-January, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the same thing: ‘Just leave kids alone, please,’ he said. “

As Lally notes: “It sounded as if he was equating homosexuality with pedophilia, which has no basis in fact. Why repeat it? It’s hard to imagine — except in Russia you can never go wrong by quoting the leader.”

And Google honestly can’t go wrong by quoting the Olympic charter -- specifically, its fourth of seven “Fundamental Principles of Olympism.”

Google, naturally, has a history of supporting LGBT rights.

In 2008, Google co-founders Sergey Brin (who was born in Moscow) and Larry Page publicly opposed California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. They reportedly gave about $140,000 to back the “No on 8” campaign (Prop 8 passed but was ultimately ruled unconstitutional).

That year, Brin wrote on Google’s official blog:

“As an Internet company, Google is an active participant in policy debates surrounding information access, technology and energy. Because our company has a great diversity of people and opinions — Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, all religions and no religion, straight and gay — we do not generally take a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues. So when Proposition 8appeared on the California ballot, it was an unlikely question for Google to take an official company position on.

“However, while there are many objections to this proposition — further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text — it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.”

By  |  09:36 AM ET, 02/07/2014

Tags:  olympic games, google doodles

 
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