Brutal videos fuel Russian anti-gay campaign
SOCHI, Russia -- At the Lighthouse Cabaret Club in Sochi, host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the music is loud, the tobacco smoke thick and the dance floor packed with gay couples enjoying an evening out.
It is a relaxed atmosphere. And from the smiles and open displays of affection here, you may think that being gay in Russia is not a problem.
But the club's co-owner, Andrei Tanichev, tells a different story.
"There's more aggression and it's becoming more dangerous on the streets," Andrei tells me.
"Many gay people have changed how they dress, they've removed earrings, changed their hairstyles, to avoid having problems. Even back in the USSR, where homosexuality was a criminal offense, gays were treated better than they are now in Russia. Ordinary people see us as criminals. They hate us."
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