Cher has shown her support for the LGBT community for decades, and now she does it again: she turned down a chance to be the opening act at the Sochi Olympics in Russia because of the “gay hate” in the country.
In an interview with Canadian news magazine Maclean’s, the pop legend explained how she declined the offer.
“I can’t name names but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show,” she said. “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”
Cher then went on to talk about how it felt when she and her husband Sonny Bono were discriminated against for dressing up differently.
“People hated Sonny and I in the early days because we looked and acted so different,” she said. “Sonny was always getting into fights — people would called him ‘fag’ and he’d get his nose broken — only because we were dressing different. And these were our street clothes!”
Under the Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” law, anyone giving minors information regarding homosexuality can be put in jail. Foreigners can be detained for up to 14 days.