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Sochi Mayor: There Are No Gay People in My City

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney this weekend that there were no gay people in Sochi.

“Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others,” he told Sweeney, referring to a spate of anti-LGBT laws in Russia that have come under scrutiny ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

But when pressed as to whether gays and lesbians would have to conceal their indentities at the games, Pakhomov responded, “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.”

A member of the opposition party mocked Pakhomov’s claim. “As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi,” he said. “How do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt?”

When Sweeney informed Pakhomov that he had visited a gay bar the night before—where he found a reticent crowd wary of being filmed—Pakhomov admitted he was not 100% about his gay-free city. “I am not sure,” he said, “but I don’t bloody know them.”

[h/t BBC]

[Image via screengrab]

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