Olympic police re-arrest former Italian MP for wearing rainbow outfit

Olympic police today re-arrested former Italian member of parliament Vladimir Luxuria for wearing an outfit that was deemed a bit too “gay” for the Sochi Olympics.

Luxuria was wearing rainbow-colored clothing, and a rainbow wig.  She was arrested while walking to her seat at an Olympic hockey game.

The rainbow is now legally suspect in Russia since the passage last year of a draconian anti-gay law that bans what the Russians call “gay propaganda.” In reality, the law bans anything – speech, clothing or actions – that might give the impression that being gay is okay.

Vladimir Luxuria at the Bologna Pride 2012, in Bologna, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, June 10 2012.

Vladimir Luxuria at the Bologna Pride 2012, in Bologna, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall’Orto, June 10 2012.

For example, the flag of Russia’s autonomous Jewish region came under scrutiny from Moscow because it contains a rainbow. And a newspaper editor was recently fined three-month’s pay for quoting a gay person in a news story in which the gay person defended themselves for having been fired based on their sexual orientation. And under similar legislation in St. Petersburg, a man was arrested for wearing rainbow suspenders.

Kremlin concludes that Jewish Autonomous flag is not gay.

Kremlin concludes that Jewish Autonomous flag is not gay.

AP reports that Luxuria, who is a famous Italian gay and trans rights activist, was taken away in a car with Olympic markings, making this the second the time the Olympics has done Russian President Putin’s dirty work by arresting LGBT rights activists for daring to show the rainbow.

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The previous time was about a month ago when a young Russian was detained by Olympic security sporting a Coca-Cola logo, for waving a rainbow flag during the official relay of the Olympic torch. The gay dissident was then turned over to the Russian police who took him into custody.  Coke later defended the arrest of the human rights advocate.

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Luxuria was also arrested last night for carrying a sign saying “gay is okay” in Italian.  Luxuria reports that she was detained by Russian police in a room with lights shining in her face, interrogation-style.  The Russian police deny even taking her in, and the IOC, which never met a dictator it couldn’t embrace, believed the Russians:

“We have talked to police,” Alexandra Kosterina, a spokesman for the Russian Olympic Organizing Committee, said Monday, “and, according to police, there is no record whatsoever of any detention or arrest.”

Also today, a demonstration was held in Rome outside the Russian embassy, to protest the detention of Luxuria.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Jerry Howe

    This is again an example of Vladimir Putin’s Russia at its finest hour.

  • gigantic dong

    i think its time to kill all gays who agrees?

  • Moderator3

    He’s out of here, but I’m leaving his remark. We might as well see what he’s like.

  • PaulNepote

    If you feel I am not correct in my assessment of today’s Man. Do some research on the role of the Male in natures design for human sexuality. For his place in his family, his responsibility to his “Female” wife and family. And his role in shielding his children from Sodomites and all others who participate in the practice of Same Sex Attraction, and Sodomy.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Your agenda is visible in some comments elsewhere. Such as: “I for one applaud the Russian people for protecting the family unit as a man and a women. The only reason the gay agenda has made so many great gains in the US is because of our lack of real Men.”

    I guess we all should start drinking beer, farting, and cussing so we can be real men.

  • PaulNepote

    If I were gay, I would keep my mouth shut about the Russian leader and his countrymen. Every time you disobey the Russian laws against gay public behavior you are giving those laws credibility. The more you defy Putin, the more popular he and his stance against homosexuality is becoming in the United States. A recent poll showed that Putin has become more popular with US citizens, and a clear majority respect and admire him for his unwavering stand against the homosexual lifestyle choice.

  • LanceThruster

    Oh, FFS, Vlad!

    Get a grip.

  • Indigo

    And watch Propaganda-R-US with Latt Mauer every morning while breakfasting on sugary cereal.

  • Anonymous

    I would encourage anyone who doesn’t like gays to eat as much anti-gay crap food as possible, then whine about health insurance. Oh wait, that’s already happening.

  • glasper9

    I wouldn’t read too much into this. Even totalitarian societies are not 100% efficient. It’s possible that they didn’t have the manpower to tail every “troublemaker” all the time, or they had to get clearance from higher ups before making the decision to arrest her.

  • Anonymous

    Abandoning her on a road, like the reporter? Whoda thunk it.

  • Nastybeth

    boy o boy

  • Thom Allen

    More details emerging. Apparently Luxuria was picked up by 4 men and placed in a car with Olympic markings. She was driven into the countryside. Her Olympic pass was taken and she was abandoned there. She got back and was told that she will be escorted out of Russia tomorrow by government officials.

  • Thom Allen

    I wonder if this is a deliberate act by the Russians to generate maximum publicity. They apparently let Luxuria stroll around for a while, enter the arena and almost get to her seat before they arrested her. I’m sure, if they wanted to minimize publicity, they could have arrested her as soon as she left her hotel room.

    There have already been a few Olympians who have spoken out or made gestures supportive of LGBTQs. The Russians may be sending a message that they are in control and won’t tolerate any additional pro-gay comments. Of course, I’ll bet that the IOC and corporate sponsors are already getting statements together to justify anything that the Russians do.

    Wonder what the ancient Greeks would think of this? They stopped wars just to compete. And the winners got a wreath made out of olive branches. Now the athletes also compete for promotional moneys and post-Olympic contracts.

  • Thom Allen

    The Russian torchbearers were all rainbowed up, too. I think that Pootie and his henchmen decide which rainbows are appropriate and which they classify as gay.

  • emjayay

    How did the German team get to march at the opening?

  • iamlegion

    This seems pretty obvious – if they’ve already said the Jewish Autonomous flag isn’t gay, there needs to be a sudden flood Jewish Autonomous Pride shirts all over Sochi. Get to work, Internet!

  • Indigo

    I think we should keep in mind that the Sochi Olympics are being sponsored in part by Coke and McDonald’s and NBC.

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