The city of Vancouver has decided to send one and only one delegate to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: Openly gay councilor Tim Stevenson. From the CBC:
The decision to send Stevenson rather than Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson came after much debate about how the city would respond to Russia's crackdown on gay and lesbian citizens in recent months, and whether or not the city should boycott the Games this coming February.
This is awesome. As we've been saying for months, you don't win by sitting on the sideline; You win by showing up. Sending an out gay man as the city's representative is a great gesture that hopefully other cities and nations will follow.
Vancouver will have a raised profile at these Games as they were the last city to host the Winter Olympics.
"Boycotting the Olympics is not very helpful for Olympians and gay and lesbian Olympians, and boycotting products is good but somewhat ineffective," says councillor Stevenson.
"Vancouver really wanted to make a strong stand being the previous host city, in light of the fact that Russia has not allowed a Pride House in Sochi. It seemed that the most effective thing that we could do is have me represent the City of Vancouver as an openly gay councillor and deputy mayor."
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