Russian Sports Minister tells gays to “calm down,” reiterates threat to jail gay Olympians

Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, who last week threatened to throw gay Olympic athletes and visitors in jail, said yesterday that gays concerned about Russia’s worsening human rights situation should just “calm down.”

Mutko’s “calm down” reminded me of the infamous “joke” from GOP Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams about women being raped: “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

Mutko then reiterated his threat to throw gay Olympic athletes and guests in jail.

In a press conference with the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lamine Diack, Mutko “clarified” that no one would be thrown in jail, unless of course they are.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, photo by Елена Рыбакова.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, photo by Elena Ribakova.

Mutko’s explanation was priceless:

“I want to ask you to calm down as in addition to this law we have a constitution that guarantees all citizens a private life,” sports minister Vitali Mutko told a news conference.

“It is not intended to deprive people of any religion, race or sexual orientation but to ban the promotion of non-traditional relations among the young generation.

“I was in Sochi yesterday and all the athletes and organizations should be relaxed, their rights will be protected…but of course you have to respect the laws of the country you are in.”

So to clarify, Mutko says to calm down, that no one attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is going to be thrown in jail, unless of course they don’t “respect the laws of the country you are in,” in which case, your Olympic ass is ending up in a gulag.

Thanks for the clarification, Minister.

I particularly enjoyed IAAF President Diack providing cover for Russia’s human rights abuses by admitting that, yes, Olympic athletes and guests will be arrested if they run afoul of Russia’s draconian anti-gay human rights law:

“I don’t feel there is a problem whatsoever,” said the 80-year-old Senegalese.

“There is a law that exists, it has to be respected, we are here for the world championships and have no problem whatsoever and I’m not worried at all.”

Diack isn’t worried at all.  Probably because there’s no danger of Diack saying or doing anything even remotely pro-gay.

And keep in mind what constitutes “pro-gay” under Russian law.  Among other things, acknowledging your same-sex boyfriend or girlfriend in public is now a crime.  So gay Olympians, and guests, must shun their family members during the games, or they will be thrown in jail under Russian law.

One Russian was thrown in jail for wearing rainbow suspenders, under a similar “anti-propaganda” law in St. Petersburg.

As for the “calm down” thing, I wonder if the Russian vigilante group, Occupy Pedophilia, empowered by the climate of hate fed by Russia’s official gay-haters like Mutko and President Putin, tells their gay teenage victims to “calm down” while they’re kidnapping them, beating them, and forcing them to drink urine.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Zorba

    If they still have their venues intact, and would be willing, that would be great. But I seriously doubt that the IOC is going to even consider this.

  • phoenix

    Back to Vancouver?

  • Corey

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Russia ( instead of the usual gingle that names Iran”

  • WesternIowan

    I say offer any aid necessary to any republic, krai (territory), or oblast (province) that wants its independence from Russia to be free from the Putin regime’s corruption and massive human rights violations.

  • http://fighttherightwingnuts.blogspot.com/ mike31c

    Go fuck yourself Mr. Minister of Propaganda.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    He’s from Senegal. Its a hideously anti-Gay country where not only do they have laws banning being gay, but they are rigorously enforced. I think Senegal really isn’t relevant to a Winter Olympics though.

  • Anonymous

    And the black guy on the IOC is from homophobic Senegal, so he sees “no problem” with these human rights abuses. How convenient. See the article I posted above.

  • Anonymous
  • lynchie

    The IOC is made up of old rich white guys, like the World Bank, like the nobel prize committee. They could care less about human rights. It is all about the money. When Romney headed up the winter Olympics in Utah there were all kinds of under the table, money payoffs that just went unnoticed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Winter_Olympic_bid_scandal

    Romney was up to his hips in this deal.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/14/romney-s-shady-connections-from-salt-lake-olympics-still-paying-off.html

    Nothing new in Russia the games will go on and some very brave Gay athletes will stand up for the human rights of the gay community in Russia.

  • mirror

    Ungovernable sounds like hyperbole to me when I first hear it, but I swear, just look at some of those dash cam video montages on youtube! What percentage of people have to be driving very drunk? And what percentage are driving literally near blind drunk? And the unmarked four lane highways?!! There really is something wildly chaotic about the people and the place. I would find it weirdly endearing if it wasn’t, as you say, so hospitable to “brutality and violence.”

  • Anonymous

    The “election” in Russia wasn’t a fair, democratic election.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Meanwhile, RIA, the Russian press agency, says Mutko’s being ‘bullied’ by the West. While at the same time, demanding that those who want to attend the Olympics hide in the shadows if they are Gay. And while Russia ignores brutality against its own LGBT citizens (including videotaped evidence of REAL bullying). They really don’t get it. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20130809/182674402/West-Bullying-Russia-Over-Anti-Gay-Law—Sports-Minister.html

    They also don’t understand that we aren’t pawns in some CIA plot, but are just fed up after watching Russia brutalize, marginalize, defame, and abuse its LGBT community for about 10 years now. We may be useful to governments in the West, but this outrage is organic and is directly related to their behavior. And it certainly isn’t controlled by them. This has been building for a long time. Russia tolerating Germany had a HUGE Gay pride protest last summer where everyone was protesting Russia. Putin’s presence in Holland created outrage this year as well. This isn’t some US plot.
    What they also don’t get is that the outrage in the civilized world is genuine as well. I suspect they have a worldview that Gay people’s concerns are irrelevant, simply because it is a Gay person who is concerned. That attitude will continue to feed the outrage.
    What they also don’t get is that people who aren’t Gay are outraged as well. The barbarity of Russia’s treatment of its LGBT community is offensive even to straight people. Russia appears to vastly overstate the support of a few crackpots like the World Congress of Families/C-FAM crowd.
    This can stop anytime Russia wants it to. Go arrest Occupy Pedophlia (and charge them with crimes like sexual assault and kidnapping). Go arrest the people who attacked the Gay bars in St Petersburg and Moscow (charges would include assault with a deadly weapon – a major crime in Russia). Fire the police chief in Novisibirsk. Hand Nikolai Alekseev a protest permit to hold a march protesting the new law. In Moscow. Holding Rainbow flags. In front of the Duma.

  • Zorba

    That would be great, cap, but it won’t happen. Unfortunately. The IOC needs to pull its head out of its @ss and either change the venue if a city can be found with enough facilities to be ready in time, or cancel the 2014 Winter Olympics entirely, and reschedule in a different venue in 2016, same year as the Summer Olympics (they used to be held in the same year, after all). That would give another city enough time to prepare for the Winter Olympics, I would think. Unfortunately, the IOC isn’t going to do that, either. Too many big bucks involved. The most they might do is issue a warning to gay athletes and visitors to “be careful” or some such.
    And failing all that, the United States (and I would hope at least a few other countries) should pull all their athletes from the 2014 Olympics. That won’t happen, either.
    Yes, I have a whole lot of sympathy for athletes who have been preparing their whole lives for this chance to compete, but human rights trumps athletic glory.
    I continue to wonder what we would do if Russia had recently passed a comparably restrictive law against people of African or Hispanic or Chinese descent. Or even, say, against females competing in any public venue.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    No, it’s up to us to start publicizing and haranguing the Olympics corporate sponsors. I’ve already begun drafting the letters.

  • Whitewitch

    Tis true…I too voting for the “lesser”…while holding my nose…and hoping for the best….seems my hope is now just disillusion.

  • nicho

    Russia has always been a country that is basically ungovernable — and to even pretend to keep things together, they have to use brutality and violence. And they need scapegoat people to use it against.

  • cole3244

    true, but the electorate started this rw trend in 1980 when they had a choice and decided to elect a liar who told everyone what they wanted to hear and not a truth teller who told the truth however unpalatable it was.

    that was the beginning of the rw spiral we are in now.

    there is no end in sight because the electorate will not consider someone left of center for any position of significance, therefore all the choices are right of center and if not worse.
    until liberalism is not considered a dirty word america will be doomed to the scrap heap of economies with two completely different classes of citizen, the haves and the have nots.

  • Ninong

    All of the Olympic committees are corrupt and in it for the money. Paris had the votes on the site selection committee two days before the vote but then London bought off two or three members (aka bribery) so that London won by one or two votes. It was crooked as hell and everybody knew it but they didn’t care.

    I wonder how many of the site selection committee members have children or grandchildren now attending, or soon to be attending, prestigious English private schools on full scholarships?

    Another international committee that is crooked as hell is the one that regulates international fisheries. Japan buys off the members from the small third-world countries so that they have the votes on anything that interests them, such a bluefin tuna regulations.

  • nicho

    perplexed why citizens in all nations keep electing these thugs to positions of power

    Because that’s the only choice they’re given. Elections are mostly a sham. How many people voted for spymaster, drone king Obama because he was “the lesser of two evils?”

    We were basically given to “evils” to choose between.

  • caphillprof

    I’d like to see a US court action against the US Olympic Committee.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    This. Keep it up guys. We’re having an impact. You can tell from the daily pronouncements through official (RIA) and semi-official (RT) sources.

    But the real issue is that they still don’t get that just because there are a few Gay bars operating Moscow and St Petersburg, that Gays aren’t terrorized and persecuted in Russia.

    But we should highlight the fact that Gays aren’t even safe while INSIDE a Gay bar or in private, with no children present. Here’s a case from Moscow (no evidence of prosecutions) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/world/europe/masked-thugs-attack-gay-bar-in-moscow.html?_r=0

    Here’s an even more troubling case from St Petersburg, which involves the police invading a Gay bar. http://www.sptimesrussia.com/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=34509 I think we should demand an answer to what happened with the investigation on this case.

    Here’s the police refusing to protect a Gay film festival, held in an environment where no children were present in Novisibirsk. http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/mob-halts-russian-gay-film-festival-and-chases-organizers080612 How about arresting the police officer responsible for refusing to protect the festival. By the way, the only thing that has happened as a result of the mob violence here and police enabling of said violence is that the organizers of the festival have had their organization fined for being ‘foreign agents’.

  • cole3244

    the more conservatives make outrageous statements in russia, america & around the globe i am perplexed why citizens in all nations keep electing these thugs to positions of power when most people claim they disagree with the extreme rw agenda.
    myself i believe most people are far right of center but won’t admit it to themselves of anyone listening at the time.

  • BillFromDover

    Obviously, cowardly Olympic officials will continue to bury their collective heads in the sand

    Perhaps it’s up to the athletes themselves to start a world-wide boycott/movement?

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • ckg1

    F calming down, Minister.

    Sooner or later, the volume will be so loud you can’t even hear yourself think.

    But, please, keep talking. We won’t interrupt you.

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