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Sochi Mayor Tells BBC No Gay People In City

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov
Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov
The mayor of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, has said he believes there are no gay people in the city.

In an interview with the BBC, Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals would be welcome at the Olympic Games, as long as they "respect Russian law" and "don't impose their habits on others."

But he said homosexuals are "not accepted" in the Caucasus, saying, "We do not have them in our city."

When challenged, Pakhomov said he was "not sure" if Sochi has gay residents.

Russia passed a law in June 2013 banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors, widely seen as stigmatizing the country's gay community.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Olympic volunteers earlier this month that homosexuals should feel "free" and "calm" at the games but asked them to "please leave our children alone."
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