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Norway minister to bring husband to Sochi

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Norway minister to bring husband to Sochi
Bent Høie and Dag Terje Solvang at Oslo Pride in June last year - Photo: Erlend Aas / Scanpix NTB
09:49 CET+01:00
Norway's most high-profile gay politician plans to bring his husband along to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, despite the deteriorating gay rights situation in Russia.
Bent Høie, Norway's Health Minister, said on Monday that he would bring his husband Dag Terje Solvang, a senior advertising executive, along with him when he comes to Sochi as Norway's government representative to the Paralympics in mid-March. 
 
“It’s natural to take Dag Terje along when attending this type of event,” he said.  “That said, everyone understands what two men who are married think about gay rights.”
 
Russia last June brought in a new law banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors", after which gay activists have reported growing discrimination. 
 
Several leading politicians have said they are boycotting the games, which start officially this Friday, including French President François Hollande, and Germany’s President Joachim Gauk.
 
Bård Nylund, leader of the Norwegian LGBT Association (LLH) called on Høie to make a stand for gay rights in Sochi. 
 
“It’s great that Bent Høie is taking Dag Terje along with him, but 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 US is sending several high profile gay people as part of its delegation including Billie Jean King, the world's number-one ranked tennis player in the 1970s, ice hockey player Catilin Cahow, and figure skater Brian Boitano.
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