Sochi Olympics will test gay rights

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sugar, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. Sugar

    Sugar Well-Known Member

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  2. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Gettin' my sass out

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    Funnily enough, this was something which crossed my mind just a few days ago.

    IIRC, there were many opponents of Beijing 08 because of China's "human rights" record. I've been wondering if Russia's official stance toward homosexuality come under the same scrutiny.
     
  3. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    It's great that he loves Russia, but the word patriot is a bit weird to use

    I have heard about the extreme homophobia in Russia. What's a bit strange is I believe one of their top pop stars is widely believed to be gay.

    There's also been controversy for years over the rampant hate crimes by neo-nazi skinhead groups there, specifically targeting Asian students
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I am absolutely furious that IOC is letting Russia get away with this. Spineless twats.
     
  5. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    What the article also doesn't mention is that when Johnny and his husband were in Russia for CoR, they were asked to delay their departure so they could appear on a Russian tv talk show about gay rights/marriage. The show apparently was never allowed to air.
     
  6. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    My partner and I were so excited to go to Sochi to see our first Winter Olympics, then after vacationing in Phuket with an abundance of Russians (biggest shock of my life) and now their stance on homosexuality, you couldn't pay me enough to step foot on their soil. I'm so sad that Russians on this board seem to be so open minded and understanding, yet obviously the people in power over there are stifling any sense of democratic voice. I've always wanted to ask heterosexuals who are so against homosexuality "If Homosexuality was the norm, would/could you change to fit in with the majority? " Sorry if this is a bit ott, but it affects my life (in a very small way) on an every day basis. Good on you Johnny for bringing this to light.
     
  7. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

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    Are they? Interestingly, my colleague just returned from Phuket and he told me that Russians are visiting Phuket in droves. He didn't say they were homophobia though I doubt he spoke to them. I will check this out.:)
     
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  8. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

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    In 1936, both summer and winter Olympics were held in Nazi Germany. Since then, Olympics have been held in Communist dictatorships 3 times. In each case, it appears the IOC was successful in keeping the gestapo storm-troopers out of the Olympic village. I have read that host governments must make certain assurances before they are granted the games. I seriously doubt there will be any trouble inside the village itself.
     
  9. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    This is what the LGBT protest looks like in Russia
    a bunch of gays and lesbians who come to protest against the new law. The russian orthodox who make sure to show up there and beat the crap out of them. The police is standing aside and makes sure to arrest the gays/lesbians.
    What a fun place to be gay.....
     
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    What are you talking about?

    In 1936 whilst Hitler has already started to raise some eyebrows worldwide, nobody could predict what would happen three years later.

    And yes, Olympics were held in Soviet Block countries before. Back at that time, gay people were discriminated against in the Western countries as much as they were in the Soviet Block ones, so that's not a valid point.

    It's not about 'trouble in the Olympic village.'

    It's about equality, inclusiveness and human rights.

    Gay athletes have it hard enough as it is.
     
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The point about Nazi Germany and Communist dictatorships was bigger than just gay rights. Just because the death camps weren't open yet in 1936 didn't mean life was a civil-rights picnic for Jews, gays, gypsies, and especially the handicapped and ill in Nazi Germany. The Germans KNEW the IOC and the rest of the world would have issues because they went to a great deal of trouble to try and cover up the anti-Jewish laws for the duration of the Olympics. As far as the other dictatorships, there's a difference between gays not living openly and rounding up people to send to gulags and reeducation camps and engineered starvation of millions. There were a lot more serious things to object to with the Soviet Bloc (as some of the Soviet bloc countries could have told them.) The IOC has overlooked a LOT of things that were past being "uninclusive" and into being "crimes against humanity" when awarding the games. (The one small props I've given them is they have still resisted the efforts of, IIRC, the UAE to be considered, given that Islamic middle eastern countries would be no picnic for the female OR gay athletes.)

    Doesn't mean any of us have to send our tourism dollars Russia's way, though.
     
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  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with (almost) everything you have said.

    I just didn't understand the comparison of the current situation to 1936 or Olympics being held in Soviet block countries.

    We are in 2013 now and it's not acceptable to allow a country holding the Olympics to discriminate against gay people (or anybody else).

    P.S. In the Western countries, it wasn't just a case of 'not living openly'. Being harassed/beaten by the police was commonplace. Which is why Stonewall eventually happened, thank god.
     
  13. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    In this vid, Belita, who participated in the the 1936 Olympics, categorized her experience at that Olympics as one of sheer "Terror" because of the political situation. The comments occur early in the vid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxll8MqoMI
     
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Did you miss where they gave the Games to China? They aren't going to withhold them over discrimination when they're handing them out countries that are still repressive dictatorships with histories of human rights violations. What probably happened is they do NOT want a repeat of '80 and '84 with some of the biggest competitors boycotting (which Russia might well do if they had the games yanked.) Countries who have done vastly more horrible things (and in the case of Russia, unlike Germany, got away with them scot-free) get the Games because the IOC wants as many of the medal contenders there as possible.
     
  15. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    The IOC has already turned their heads to ignore the human rights issues in Russia. Sad but it's what they do. They would contend (if I read them right) that the games promote mutual understanding and transcend politicis - yes but... One could reasonably argue that we could find human rights violations in almost any country - that's true. That said, Russia's position on gay rights is so shocking when you take a real look at the details of their public actions but the IOC care about that? They don't.
     
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  16. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    One word: BOYCOTT. Countries should start announcing now that they will not participate . There are things more important than the Olympics.
     
  17. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The IOC doesn't care. Unless enough people don't pay their ticket prices when they go to countries that are completely beyond the pale, they won't start.

    Personally I have a lot of other reasons that I wouldn't give Russia a dime. This is one more group of people who undoubtedly feel the same. But it's not like Russia or the IOC cares. All we can do is vote with our wallets.
     
  18. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's all about the money I know. :(
     
  19. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan Searching for Cizeron's Instagram

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    If human rights was ever an issue I can't see anyone hosting the Olympics. In some cases, when it pleases certain countries they are brought to our attention (as in the case of Russia).. While in the other cases when like waging two illegal wars and the government does drone attacks, it is not about human rights anymore... the reaction in the forum is more along the line, I did not expect Obama to do this. However, no talk of human rights then...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    We could have the Olympics taking part in Scandinavian countries each time. :D
     
  21. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Said no athlete EVER!

    Even Johnny Wier said if he makes the team he will go. Why not say right here and now, even if I qualify to go, I won't due to their stance on gay rights.

    Not that I think he will ever make the team but he certainly would condone any behavior by attending.
     
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  22. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    But boycotts are not decided by the athletes and have happened before. I don't think a boycott will happen over gay rights though- I'm not sure what country has progressed that far that they would do it.
     
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  23. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan Searching for Cizeron's Instagram

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    Great idea, I am not sure whether they would want to hold so many games though... especially if the defection rate will be very high. It is so much the scandinavians can take, you know.

    Also Ziggy, IOC is yet to make any statements on the issue, and very likely won't make any. Especially since and statement supporting Gay rights won't go down well with more than half of the countries in the IOC. There are many where being gay is illegal, with IOC made of members from across the world, their opinion will be diverse. Even if the Rouge want to say something, members wont agree to this.

    It is only in the last few years that even in the West being gay is somewhat acceptable, even then you get incidents like 2008 Olympics when NBC refused to mention Mathew Michams partner when they where championing everyone else partners. Some of the countries in IOC are lot of traditional and conservative, some of them still working with the constitutions written down the some of the very countries championing the gay rights now. Some of the colonist did not approve the homosexuals in these countries since it was against their christian beliefs, The british constitution of India is a very good example where by homosexuality was declared a crime, this mentality has been imprinted on the country (strange especially since Hinduism and Buddhism, both are very, very liberal religions when it come to gender).

    So, now west has changed its mentality and become more open and gay friendly. Now they want rest of the world to change and accept what they feel is correct ( which I agree as well). However, lecturing these countries is not they way, or boycotting. All of them should be allowed to make their own opinion on the subject, stop interfering (right and Left), Uganda is a very good example of right wing american nut wigs interference. These countries should gradually be allowed to make their own opinion, constructive dialogue is the way forward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  24. Willowway

    Willowway Well-Known Member

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    The one thing that can be done within the current structure and environment - talk about it and keeping bringing it up. The games will go on and the individual athletes (almost all of whom I respect and support) will thrill us. But use the spotlight, the exceptional level of social media discussion, etc. to keep the topic in view. Don't let it go, don't let it slide - support human rights and use opportunities, like Sochi, to highlight the abuses. That's one thing each person can do regardless of where they are located - social media gives us more "power" than we have ever had as individuals. I can't boycott anything because I wasn't going there in the first place. But I can actively support human rights efforts in Russia and in my own country (USA) and anywhere they occur. Sometimes we have to work with what we can't control - but we can make a difference. I like the message that figure skating fans CARE, really care about human rights - I'll work with that.
     
  25. Scrufflet

    Scrufflet Active Member

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    Now I really hope that Weir goes to Sochi!
     
  26. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    Individual athletes (Johnny Weir) can boycott anytime they want-they just don't go. But the bottom line is the coveted Olympic medal is a much higher goal on any athlete's list, so much so that other issues are put to the side.

    I think the Olympics are just a nice way to bankrupt a country for the sake of sport. Look at all the billion dollar venues that are now in ruins.
     
  27. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

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    right. reminds me of Beijing, the World does not revolve around western countries, democracy is a facade and its definition differs from culture to country.
    I for one leave it to their own people ( majority of Russians are still unwelcome of gays )
    do not care how this human rights are condemned, I can easily name gross human violations in any country.

    the world is filled with hypocrisy.
     
  28. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I think the IOC is right. It would be impossible to hold the games if it were the responsibility of the IOC to make political judgements. There certainly would be good reasons not to hold them in the U.S.

    I think that the Olympics provide an opportunity to shine a light on problems within the host country if groups choose to do so. Sometimes that can have a significant impact. I'm glad to see Johnny speaking out. And if he were to make the team, glad that he would still go to Sochi.
     
  29. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Very well said!
     
  30. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Johnny Weir isn't going to boycott (or make it to, but that is another issue) the Olympics in Russia. He adores Russia. This is just a black spot on it for him.
     
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