Gay-rights advocate Pavel Lebedev was tackled by Olympics security personnel for waving a rainbow flag as the Olympic torch was carried through Voronezh, Russia, about 560 miles north of Sochi. His attacker, an official “flame keeper” for the Sochi Games, wrestled Lebedev to the ground and waited for police to take him in for questioning. “Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance,” he told the AP.
And speaking of Russia, the country might be passing even more anti-LGBT legislation: A 2013 bill aimed at stripping gay people of the right to be parents has been reworked to just deny custody to anyone leaving a heterosexual relationship to live as a gay person. “In the case that a parent openly propagates homosexuality, and only in this case, if the family splits a child should exclusively stay with the parent who has a heterosexual way of life,” says lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlyov, who authored both versions of the bill.
Race car driver Danica Patrick thinks NASCAR fans would embrace an openly gay driver—eventually. Talking to HuffPo Live, Patrick admitted auto racing was “a very southern, Republican, Bible Belt kind of a sport,” but added, “It’s 2014, and with the way that we get our media and the amount of it, I feel like it’s becoming a little bit more acceptable.” There have never been any openly gay drivers in NASCAR, but former racer Stephen Rhodes, who came out after leaving the sport, has discussed returning to the track in recent months.
A British politician is blaming torrential floods in the country on the legalization of gay marriage. Councillor David Silvester from Oxfordshire, wrote a letter to his local paper declaring Prime Minister David Cameron acted “arrogantly against the Gospel” when he pushed for marriage equality. “The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.” Silvester, who said he wrote to Cameron in 2012 to “warn” him of such natural disasters, defected from the Torys to the UK Independence Party over the issue of same-sex marriage. A UKIP spokesperson said his views were “not the party’s belief” but defended his right to state his opinions. Hey, nutjobs blaming gays for natural disasters is our thing, England! You can’t just steal it from us.