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|Wysłany: Śro 13:52, 18 Gru 2013 Temat postu: U.S. delegation to Russian Olympics includes gay a
The United States' delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia won't include a member of President Barack Obama's family or a cabinet secretary, but it will include openly gay athletes -- a clear jab at Russia's recent anti-gay laws.
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Two weeks later, a group led by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will attend the closing ceremony. Speed skaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, as well as openly gay hockey player Caitlin Cahow, will also attend.
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It's the first time in more than a decade the President, Vice President, First Lady or former president hasn't attended an Olympic opening or closing ceremony. First Lady Michelle Obama led the delegation to 2012's Summer Olympics in London, and President George W. Bush made the trek to China for Beijing's games in 2008.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife led a U.S. group to the last Winter Games, held in Vancouver.
The absence of high-ranking U.S. officials amounts to a snub to Russia,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-shox-34]Nike Shox[/url], whose relationship with the United States has fractured over the past year. Admitted NSA leaker Edward Snowden,[url=http://www.oksko.com/]Nike Sko[/url], wanted on espionage charges in the U.S.,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-free-38]Nike Free[/url], was granted temporary asylum in Moscow,[url=http://www.oksko.com/nike-shox-34]Billige Nike Shox[/url], and Russian President Vladimir Putin has used Russia's veto on the United Nations Security Council to block action in Syria.
Read: French president to skip Sochi
Obama canceled a meeting with Putin that was scheduled for September, though the two met as part of a larger group of world leaders at the Group of 20 conference in St. Petersburg.
Fueling the rift between the nations are new laws in Russia banning gay "propaganda" -- a law critics say is so vague that anyone can be prosecuted for wearing a rainbow T-shirt or holding hands in public with someone of the same sex.
Obama told Jay Leno in August he had "no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them," and during his visit to Russia earlier this year, Obama met with the leaders of Russian social activist groups.
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