Google is staging a quiet but very powerful protest in support of gay people in Russia. Last night the company released a new Google Doodle, pictured above, to coincide with the first day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The image of skiers and skaters against the LGBT rainbow flag celebrates gay rights and winter sports at the same time, a protest against Russia's harsh anti-gay laws that remain in place while the country hosts the Olympics.
Beneath the search box, Google quotes the Olympic committee's rules:
"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." - "Olympic Charter
The spirit of the Olympic Charter is clearly being violated by Russia's recent anti-gay laws. Open statements of tolerance for LGBT people are forbidden, and so is holding hands or other public gestures of affection between same-sex couples.
Google's move immediately won the tech giant widespread praise. "Glad to see some corporations have the guts to stand up for equality," wrote Star Trek legend George Takei in a Facebook post, which has already been shared over 50,000 times.