Skip to main content
  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. Celebrity

Sochi mayor's outlandish claim: 'There are no gays in my city'

See also

Sochi’s mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told BBC News in an interview Sunday that although homosexuals were welcome at the Olympic Games, “we don't have them in our town.”

His extreme remarks come amid continued controversy over anti-gay sentiments swirling around Russia’s gay “propaganda” law, passed in June of 2013, which forbids open gay activism and even talking about homosexuality around minors.

“It’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city,” Anatoly Pakhomov told BBC Panorama in the interview.

Sochi is set to host the Winter Olympics in just under two weeks, and Pakhomov says gays and lesbians are “welcome to visit” as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others.”

ABC News points out something that the head-in-the-sand mayor evidently overlooked, and something that opposition leader Boris Nemtsov even is aware of – that there are several gay bars in Sochi.

“Of course, if Pakhomov were to visit the crowded nightclub Mayak, located just off the beach in downtown Sochi, he would find the city’s most popular gay cabaret,” writes ABC.

According to the BBC, Panorama reporter John Sweeney, who interviewed Pakhomov, visited a gay bar the day before his scheduled meeting with the mayor. When Sweeney pressed Pakhomov about his obtuse remark, the mayor admitted that he was not certain about the gay count in Sochi.

“I am not sure,” Pakhomov said. “But I don't bloody know them.”


Arts & Entertainment

  • Jack White
    Watch as Jack White covers Jay Z at the Forecastle Music Festival
  • Jay Z and Beyonce
    See how the rumors about Jay Z and Beyoncé splitting up came about
    Celebrity Buzz
  • Comic-Con
    San Diego Comic-Con 2014 exclusives: Entertainment Earth
    20 Photos
  • Paul McCartney
    Take an exclusive look at Paul McCartney's soundcheck before a recent show
    20 Photos
  • Katy Perry
    Watch Katy Perry transform from pop princess to one of the world's hottest women
    19 Photos
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Find out why Philip Seymour Hoffman left his children out of his will
    Today's Buzz