According to the Italian media, the Russian female athletes who lip-locked after a gold medal victory will now be holding a press conference to announce that their kiss was simply one of “joy,” and not a protest of the country’s draconian anti-gay/anti-trans law. (Ten bucks says their families just got offered a one-way ticket to a gulag.)
An excellent piece in the Advocate about 22 Russians who won’t let Putin forget they’re gay, bi or trans.
Washington Post on the Olympics’ obligation to stand up to tyranny:
Russian officials likely took note, he said, of the IOC’s failure to hold China to the many pledges it made about openness, tolerance and the broader extension of human rights during the 2008 Games.
“I’m sure Mr. Putin learned his lesson from that,” [Olympic historian David ] Wallechinsky said….Norman Bellingham, former chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee and a gold-medal canoeist at the 1988 Games in Seoul, said he hopes the world’s media will shine a light on the unpleasant issues of the upcoming Sochi Games — particularly anything that flouts the Olympic ideals of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
“It can’t just be ‘friendship and solidarity except for gay people,’ ” Bellingham said. “Just because nothing happened to Jews in Germany in 1936 [when Berlin hosted the Summer Games] didn’t mean that all was well in the Nazi state. The endorsement of that government should not have been given implicitly by the Olympic movement. You have to be very careful about that. You can’t turn too much of a blind eye.”
Over a pot of tea near the former parliament building where Russian homosexuality was finally legalised in 1993, Ruslan reflects on a “frightening” time to be gay, even for people who live “quietly”, as he does. He works in a clothes shop, does not go to protests and has no interest in politics. He emphasises several times the importance of knowing “the boundaries” – an instinct for when and with whom he can fully relax and how much he can tell them. “This law changes the way people think. Before people weren’t talking about [homosexuality], people weren’t looking for it. Now because of this law people talk about gay life more and want to dictate to me that it’s a bad way of life. The law has made life more complicated and made it more difficult to live openly. More gay people are leaving Russia: I’d like to.”
New Zealand Foreign Minister tells Russians gay Olympians should not face “undue harassment,” but due harassment is apparently fine.
British PM David Cameron meets with actor/activist Stephen Fry to talk about Russia.
Soviet Russian communist party rag Pravda says the West is “rotting,” and is now quoting Leviticus. Pravda has been having fun the past week publishing pieces from Western hate groups. Earlier they published a piece quoting a bunch of repudiated hate group leader Paul Cameron’s faux “science” about gays dying at a far earlier age than straight people (Cameron did his “research” by reading obituaries in gay papers and then average the age of death – seriously, that’s his “scientific research”).
Here’s Pravda – don’t expect me to link to their Nazi garbage:
A Kazakh member of parliament wants to pass a Soviet-style anti-”gay propaganda” law in Kazkhstan too. (And these types of law are quite Soviet, and Nazi, so let’s not be afraid to call them what they are. And even though the Sovs and the Nazis hated each other – well, after they were first allies – it doesn’t mean that their governments don’t a remarkable adeptness and demonizing minorities.)
Chris Geidner on the “simple question the International Olympic Committee keeps dodging. Geidner notes that the IOC keeps conveniently forgetting its own Rule 2:
However, Rule 2 of the Olympic Charter has not been a part of the IOC statements or news stories addressing the issue thus far.
“The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement. The IOC’s role is … to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement,” part of Rule 2 states.
More Sister City problems for Russia.