LGBT supporters and allies are turning up the heat on Russia — with racy ads declaring that homophobia and sports are incompatible.
The 2014 Winter Games are at the center of an international discussion about LGBT rights, thanks to Russia's escalating war on gays. The Olympic host has passed several recent laws discriminating against LGBT citizens. Human rights groups note that anti-gay rhetoric and violence appear to be on the rise in Russia.
Two companies in Norway and Canada have decided to fire back. Their ads are really about equality under the law, not sex, but they've definitely got our attention.
1) XXL, “Airport Love”
Nordic sporting goods company XXL aired this "hot, lesbian-themed commercial" in Norway, Sweden and Finland during Sochi’s opening ceremony. The brilliantly-executed video provides equal opportunity ogling and it really means it: “Sport is for everyone, no matter what team you play for.” Featured athletes include three Norwegians: former world champion Anders Solum (freestyle football), Edward Beach (alpine) and Sune Wentzel (frisbee).
2) Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, “Luge”
This cheeky ad shows two spandex-clad men doing double luge to the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” The video's already gotten 4.4 million hits on YouTube and offers this simple message: “The games have always been a little gay. Let's fight to keep them that way.” But American doubles luger Christian Niccum dismissed the spot as "ridiculous" and “sad”: "It’s just sportsmanship. When did we become so sexual about everything?" (We're guessing it was probably before this ad.)