Sochi: Google Doodle Tackles Anti-Gay Law
Google has taken a very public stand against Russia's controversial anti-gay law by launching a rainbow version of its iconic logo on the eve of the Sochi Olympics.
The internet giant's latest Google Doodle borrows heavily from the Winter Olympics official colour scheme, which uses a variety of colours to represent different sports at the games.
But it pointedly features only the red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple of the internationally-recognised gay pride flag.
The Google homepage also highlights a quote from the Olympic Charter.
It says: "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."
The company made the same change to its homepage in Russia.
Google's stance earned praise from campaigners, who urged Olympic sponsors to follow the company's lead.
Chad Griffin from the Human Rights Campaign said: "Google has once again proven itself to be a true corporate leader for equality.
"Alongside Olympic sponsors like AT&T, Google has made a clear and unequivocal statement that Russia's anti-LGBT discrimination is indefensible.
"Now it's time for each and every remaining Olympic sponsor to follow their lead. The clock is ticking, and the world is watching."
Google's move came as US President Barack Obama said that he had included gay athletes in the US Olympic delegation to show that America was against discrimination in sport and wider life.
Mr Obama included openly gay figure skater Brian Boitano and women's hockey player Caitlin Cahow in the US delegation for the opening ceremony for the Games on Friday.
Tennis legend and gay rights campaigner Billie Jean King was also scheduled to attend, but pulled out because her mother is ill.
Mr Obama told NBC: "There is no doubt we wanted to make it very clear that we do not abide by discrimination in anything, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
"One of the wonderful things about the Olympics is that you are judged by your merit, how good you are regardless of where you come from, what you look like, who you love and that I think is consistent with the spirit of the Olympics."
The president's comments came after a senior Russian politician warned athletes and spectators against promoting gay rights during the games.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak†said it was forbidden by the Olympic Charter and Russian law to spread propaganda during a sporting event.
Russia's legislation, signed by President Vladimir Putin†last July outlaws pro-gay "propaganda" that could be accessible to minors, but campaigners say it stamps out virtually any public expression of support for gay rights.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also added his voice to those condemning attacks on homosexuals ahead of the Sochi games.