U.S. Senator Urges Countries to Hold Rainbow Flags at Sochi Olympics, Calls Putin 'Bully'

By Jase Peeples

Originally published on Advocate.com August 13 2013 6:51 PM ET

U.S. senator Chuck Schumer called Russian president Vladimir Putin a “schoolyard bully” and urged counties to hold rainbow flags during the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics to support LGBT athletes during a Monday appearance on Morning Joe.

“I’ve called Putin … a schoolyard bully, and the only way you deal with bullies is stand up to them,” Schumer told Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski. “When we march initially, all the countries should wave the multicolored flag for gay rights. That would be pretty embarrassing for Putin, let our athletes participate and still take a stand.”

The New York senator also praised President Obama for his decision to publicly criticize Russia’s treatment of LGBT people and canceling a meeting with Putin following Russia’s adoption of a new antigay law. “The president is doing his job by trying to keep the person-to-person relationship OK,” Schumer said. “I thought it was a good move not going to the bilateral.”

Watch the full interview in the video below.

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