Gay Norway minister to bring hubby to Paralympics despite controversy

Feb. 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM

OSLO, Norway, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Norway's most high-profile gay politician said he plans to bring his husband to the Paralympics despite the controversy over gay rights in Russia.

Health Minister Bent Hoie said Monday he would bring husband Dag Terje Solvang, a senior advertising executive, to Sochi when he attends the Paralympics as Norway's government representative in mid-March.

"It's natural to take Dag Terje along when attending this type of event," he told TheLocal.no. "That said, everyone understands what two men who are married think about gay rights."

Last year, Russia passed a new law banning the propaganda that displayed non-traditional sexual relations to minors.

Gay activists have since reported growing discrimination.

Several leading politicians said they are boycotting the games, which start on Friday.

Bard Nylund, the leader of the Norwegian LGBT Association, called on Hoie to make a statement on gay rights.

"He should say something explicitly to his Russian colleagues if he gets the opportunity during his visit to Sochi," Nylund said. "That much should be expected."

The United States is sending high-profile gay athletes as part of its delegation, including tennis player Billie Jean King, ice hockey player Catilin Cahow and figure skater Brian Boitano.

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