Conflict & Justice

US Runner Nick Symmonds Decries Russian Anti-Gay Laws in Moscow

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Credit:

REUTERS

Silver medal winner Nick Symmonds of the U.S. and gold medal winner Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia (L) celebrate after their men's 800 metres final during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 13, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS) - RTX12K4C

Runner Nick Symmonds won a silver medal in the men's 800-meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on Tuesday.

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But that's not the only reason he's making headlines worldwide.

Symmonds also became the first foreign athlete to speak out against Russia's new anti-gay law on Russian soil.

He dedicated his silver medal to his gay and lesbian friends at home, and called for equal treatment for LGBT people worldwide.

Russia's law, which prohibits speaking openly about so called non-traditional sexual relations, could be used against him.

Last week we spoke to Kris van der Veen, who was the first foreigner arrested under the laws.

And while Symmonds dedicated his medal yesterday, the Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva defended the law and claimed Russia has never, and will never have any problems from people who aren't "normal, standard people."

Nick Symmonds spoke to the BBC from the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow this afternoon.

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