Russia’s gay crackdown: Oodles of morning news

Russian hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk is fine with oppressing gays, because “it’s a free world.”  More from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated:

Here’s a shocker: another high-profile Russian athlete has come out in support of their country’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law.

“I agree, of course,” said Ilya Kovalchuk. “I’m Russian and we all have to respect that. It’s personal and, like I said, it’s a free world, but that’s our line. That’s our country, so everybody has to respect that.”

I’m guessing that Kovalchuk, who was speaking to TSN, might have a different understanding of the phrase “free world” than most people.

Ouch!

NHL’s top player Sidney Crosby opposes Russian anti-gay law.

Danish government warns Russia.

Canadian athletes aren’t thrilled about a boycott, but they’re totally ticked over Russia’s anti-gay law.

Zambia is on Russia’s side.

Nice Olympic protest sidewalk-art:

nice olympic-protest-pic

Sochi Olympics street art by ida4 in the UK.

Irish musician pulls out of Russia concert:

Musician Keith Pascoe has been praised by Irish gay rights groups for withdrawing from a music event in Russia to highlight laws allowing “homophobic bullying”.

Mr Pascoe was set to lead RTÉ’s Vanbrugh Quartet to the Russian-Irish festival in Moscow this December, but will not now be attending.

In a statement, Mr Pascoe said he would not be attending after contemplating the invitation with colleagues.

“Being gay myself I felt this the best way to highlight the pernicious laws that are in force now: a license for homophobic bullying in schools and a green light to gaybashers all over Russia,” he said.

“I think many musicians will sooner or later realise what serious consequences these laws will have on Russians and on the safety of visiting LGBT people, whether musicians or not.”

American gays behaving badly.

Billie Jean King is rather indecisive.

Florida cities considering breaking Sister City relationships with Russia.

Russia isn’t your “host” and the Olympics aren’t some dinner party:

The Olympic organizing committees are not hosts, they are not heads of households. They are suppliers who have sought the right, in a competitive bidding process, to use the intellectual property of the International Olympic Committee for their mutual benefit. No athlete asked for the privilege of competing in Sochi specifically. It was the Russians who asked for the privilege of organizing the 2014 Winter Olympics for the benefits they felt they would provide, not out of altruistic hospitality. When they won their bid, they signed on to the values and principles of the IOC, including Principle 4 (sport is a human right) and Principle 6 (no discrimination in sport) of the Olympic Charter. The government of Russia signed a contract with the IOC, and the IOC needs to enforce that contract….

Olympians are clients with contractual relationships that are being violated. It is time for the host and guest analogy to be banned from discussion of what behavior is acceptable and advisable in Sochi. Like any self-respecting client, when you don’t get what you paid for, you complain or take your business elsewhere.

While she may want to respect her mother-in-law’s tastes when she heads to her home for Thanksgiving, an athlete should not receive threats from her national sports federation about the color she paints her nails. And while public displays of affection aren’t always appropriate in a fine restaurant, a skater should be able to embrace his husband when he wins a gold medal. Certainly any person present in Sochi should be able to take the hand of any other person of any gender in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

Defending the Olympic Charter isn’t a political act, nor is it a social faux pas. It is simply the right thing to do.

Равенство и справедливость для всех в России!
Equality and justice for all in Russia!


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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