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School of Law

Sochi Olympics, Ban on 'Gay Propaganda’ Are Subject of Expert Panel at UNH Law

Student-Led Event Feb. 6 Will Feature National Names in Sports Law and a Four-Time Olympian

The day before the XXII Olympic Winter Games are set to begin, the UNH Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI) and UNH Law's Chapter of Lambda Law will co-host a panel on Russia's so-called "ban on gay propaganda aimed at children" and its effect on the Sochi Olympics. 

The conversation on Feb. 6 at UNH Law will feature five experts:

• Cameron Myler, a four-time Olympian luger who is now a lawyer and professor at NYU

• L. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer

• Dmitry V. Chesnokov, sports and entertainment lawyer and well-known sports writer

• William Butler, professor of law and international affairs at Penn State Law and a top expert on Russian law

• Matthew Lane, former professional runner who is now a sports lawyer and adjunct professor at UNH Law

The conference was the idea of UNH Law student Katherine Hedges. The third-year student heads Lambda Law, an organization of law students interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal issues, employment concerns, and the fostering of tolerance and awareness on campus.

“It’s designed to examine the 'homosexual propaganda’ law a little more in depth because you see the news blurbs that have the quick bite without understanding what the law is or how it will be implemented,” Hedges said.

She and Lambda Legal teamed up with the school’s Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI) to host the event. UNH Law Professor and SELI Director Michael McCann, a nationally known sports law expert and Sports Illustrated columnist, will moderate the discussion.

The panel will focus on the law itself and whether it is legal under Russian law as well as whether it is consistent with the Olympic Charter. Panelists will also discuss the U.S. and worldwide response.

“We’ll look at how it’s affected the Olympians from the U.S. and potentially other countries and their decision on going to the Olympics and how they’ll present themselves there – whether they would identify as LGBT, for example,” Hedges said.

The panel is free and open to the public. It will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in UNH Law's Room 282. Please RSVP to ip.center@law.unh.edu. More information on the event and featured speakers may be found here.