What do you know? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has suddenly discovered gay people! How cute of them.
After nearly two years of indifference in the face of Russian anti-gay prejudice directed at Olympic athletes, the International Olympic Committee has suddenly discovered its backbone.
Well, this is the IOC we’re talking about, so perhaps “backbone” isn’t exactly the right term.
The IOC issued a statement the other day saying they were “concerned” about Russia – the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi – being on the verge of passing a law that would ban pro-gay words or actions, and which threatens to jail gay (and pro-gay) foreigners visiting Russia.
I guess that means the ice skating part of the Olympics is over.
Until now, the IOC has been – how shall I put this? – less than “concerned” about its gay athletes in Russia. When the Russians banned the 2014 Olympics from having a Pride House for gay athletes, the IOC didn’t say boo. Well, in all fairness, the IOC did say something… pathetic. They issued a statement reiterating their commitment to non-discrimination. Yeah, thanks. And how exactly is that going to force the Russians to reopen the Pride House?
And the IOC expressing “concern” is going to doing a thing to stop Russian leader Vladimir Putin from demonizing gay and trans people in an effort to shore up his failed nation-state.
As I’ve noted before, the IOC has a rather clear policy against non-discrimination.
IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau, asked about the appeals, noted that the Olympic Charter “clearly states that any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”
But as we’ve learned before, such statements are meaningless if the IOC refuses to enforce them.
And the gold medal in cowardice goes to….