Anti-gay American preachers are rallying in support of Vladimir Putin on the streets of Sochi. And the cops are fine with that, of course.
On Friday evening, while huge crowds made their way to the Olympic opening ceremony viewing party, the men warned that “Judgment is coming” and shook hands with anyone who would stop to listen. A few locals did. But more significantly, at a time when discussion of the Olympics is dominated by issues of discrimination, none of the large police presence near the station appeared to approach them. Meanwhile, Friday night brought reports that at least four gay rights activists were arrested in St. Petersburg. One of the three men in Sochi—Larry Craft from Rochester, N.Y.—said that earlier in the day, they had spent a few hours at the police station after their banner got them in trouble. It read, “God bless Putin for his stance on homosexuals.” He said that they were allowed to return to the sidewalk if they promised to put the banner away.
Kraft has been arrested several times, including at Southern Decadence 2012 when nine anti-gay preachers were rounded up during “aggressive” street protests.
UPDATE: Queer Nation reacts.