Schumer: Olympic Athletes Should Wave Rainbow Flags at Olympics Opening Ceremony

By Susan Jones | August 12, 2013 | 11:00 AM EDT

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (AP Photo)

( - President Obama says it would be inappropriate to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia because of that country’s new law against homosexual advocacy, and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he agrees.

"All these athletes trained so long," he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.

But Schumer has another idea:

"I saw a column by (New York Times columnist) Frank Bruni, I thought it was -- that when we march initially, all the countries should wave the multi-colored flag for gay rights. That would be pretty embarrassing for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, to let our athletes participate and still make a stand. But standing up to Putin I think is important right now, because I think he's a bully."

At his news conference last Friday, President Obama said nobody is more offended than he is "by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you've been seeing in Russia. But as I said just this week, I've spoken out against that not just with respect to Russia but a number of other countries where we continue to do work with them, but we have a strong disagreement on this issue.

"And one of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there. And if Russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, then it probably makes their team weaker."