Google’s home page today celebrates the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics and also protests Russia’s stance on gay rights in the form of a Doodle. Abandoning its usual primary colors, Google’s logo adopts rainbow colors symbolic of gay pride.
The sports depicted in Google’s Doodle are skiing, hockey, curling, bobsledding, figure skating, and snowboarding. Beneath the Doodle is a quote from the Olympic Charter, from section 4 of the “Fundamental Principles of Olympism”:
“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.”
Google then links users to a search for [Olympic Charter]. The Doodle appears on all of Google’s sites, including Russia (google.ru).
Showing support to the gay community shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has followed Google. In 2013, 2012, and 2011, Google was heavily involved with gay pride events. For LGBT-related searches during that month, Google also traditionally adds an Easter egg that decorates the search bar or search results with rainbow colors.
Not that the move comes without controversy, as comments sections on coverage of this story all over the web today is quite hateful from vocal (and usually anonymous troll) opponents of gay rights. However, Google isn’t without supporters as well.
Google also took some heat on Valentine’s Day 2012 by daring to feature a gay couple in their Doodle.
Russia passed an gay propaganda law, and has warned athletes, attendees, and protesters that any violations of its law will result in arrests, prison sentences, fines, or deportation.
“Google has once again proven itself to be a true corporate leader for equality,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organization, told Reuters. “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.”