US Olympic Committee wants gay athletes to comply with Russian anti-gay law, go back in closet

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said on Wednesday that he wants gay, and gay-friendly, athletes attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia to comply with Russia’s draconian new anti-gay law that essentially forces gays back in the closet.

The Russian law is so unfortunately broad that this means the US Olympic Committee expects gay athletes to, among other things, leave their legally-wed husbands and wives at home, lest anyone see their spouses in public and claim it’s “gay propaganda.”

After all, what more positive image of being gay can you send to children than an Olympic gold medalist hugging, or worse, kissing his husband after winning a race or receiving a medal – or simply holding hands in public – just as straight Olympic athletes do?

USOC head: Gays should obey Russian anti-gay law

Here’s Blackmun’s quote:


USOC CEO Scott Blackmun

Q: You might have to get involved if an athlete decides to make a protest.

A: “You can’t judge in advance what you’re going to do. Each Games is different. The athletes are always going into countries with laws different than his or her own country. They’re going to agree with those laws in some ways, they’re going to disagree with those laws in other ways. It’s our strong desire that our athletes comply with the laws of every nation that we visit. This law is no different.“[emphasis added]

Really?  So you’d want our athletes to comply with racist laws, and anti-semitic laws, and misogynist laws?  Really, USOC?

And if this were Nazi Germany, the US Olympic committee would still want our athletes to comply with the anti-semitic Nuremeberg laws?  Really?

Let’s walk through the Nurememberg Laws, one by one, and see what the US Olympic Committee’s Scott Blackmun just agreed to.

Marriages with Jews are invalid

Section 1: Marriages between Jews and citizens (German: Staatsangehörige) of German or kindred blood are forbidden. Marriages concluded in defiance of this law are void, even if, for the purpose of evading this law, they were concluded abroad.

Sex with Jews is forbidden outside of marriage

Section 2: Extramarital sexual intercourse between Jews and subjects of the state of Germany or related blood is forbidden.

So the USOC’s Blackmun is okay with that? After all, it’s just another law, this law is no different, right?

It’s clear the USOC and the IOC have caved to the Russians.

Supposedly the IOC was working with the Russians to get an exemption from the law for the Olympics, the same way the IOC got an exemption from the Nazi’s anti-gay laws for the 1936 Hitler Olympics in Berlin.  Now clearly the exemption is passé – gay, and gay friendly, athletes will follow Russia’s “closet” law, or else.

Not that an exemption is enough, but geez, to accept a lower standard for Putin than the Olympics placed on Hitler.  Seriously?

Not to mention, the Olympics weren’t about following the local hate laws of the host government.  They were about putting that hate aside for the Olympics.  Spartans didn’t threaten to arrest Athenians.

No matter.   If the USOC and IOC want to side with Vladimir Putin in an all-out war with the gay community and our straight allies, they’ve got it.

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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