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  1. #21
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    gay marriage

    Replace the term "gay marriage" with "miscegenation," and noone would publicly defend Vidmar. BTW, the same arguments that were used against miscegenation in the 1960s are now being used against gay marriage: It violates the teachings of the Bible; it's unnatural; it's bad for children. When a "point of view" nullifies the rights of a segment of society, it's not a valid point of view....it's just bigotry.

    This is not just the matter of a paper document. There are ramifications with regards to taxes, health insurance, hospital visitation rights and immigration.

    I'll give you a personal example. I worked for a city government that provided health insurance to my domestic partner. Great, right?
    Well, my domestic partner was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 1995 and died in 2001. His health benefits of several hundred thousand dollars were taxable to me....all because we could not enter into a federally recognized gay marriage. I paid over $50,000 in taxes on money that went directly to doctors.

    Here's another example. My personal physician met a nurse while on vacation in Peru. The nurse obtained a work visa and got a job as an assistant in a doctor's office in New York. The couple proceeded to register as New York City domestic partners. Well, the Peruvian's work visa wasn't renewed, and he was deported back to Peru. This couple was together over 10 years, and they couldn't stay together because federally recogized gay marriage was not an option.

    To recap, this is not an abstract issue. It has real consequences for real people.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    the push to get him to step down was, imo, ill-considered, and likely to make those opposed to gay marriage feel even more strongly that the "gay lobby" has too much power.
    They are going to feel that no matter what. It's not a logical thing and, as long as people believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay (because there isn't), a certain segment of the population will be incensed.

    They remind me of the people I grew up with who were convinced that Jews ran the world and had too much power any time a Jew had any power whatsoever. No Jew having any power at all was acceptable to them. You can't appease people like that and, frankly, I don't think you should try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    mike1970, can you explain to me how you feel gay-rights activists are acting in a fascist manner here?
    They were willing to stand up for what they believe and other people were influenced by that. Apparently, that's okay when the influencing goes your way, but fascism otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    Besides, I really doubt that Peter Vidmar resigned just because Johnny Weir was quoted in Phil Hersh's column.
    Or even just because of the column. People here seem to live in a figure skating bubble. Do you really think that no one else was outraged over this appointment and said so?

    How could anyone expect Peter to stand up for all the Olympic athletes if he can't stand the pressure of one Phil Hersh article?
    Well, there's that. But again, I think people are giving Hersh (and Johnny) too much power here.

    As for the example of people pressuring someone who is Pro-Choice to resign, it misses the point. Someone who is pro-choice is not campaigning to force women to have abortions, but to support this legally valid choice and make sure it remains an available option. Someone who is Anti-Choice is campaigning to restrict women from exercising a legally valid option. That would be the equivalent to Peter Vidmar's position.

    Most people aren't outraged because Vidmar believes something that they don't believe. They may not like that but people who don't believe what I believe are in positions of power everywhere and I'm not automatically outraged and neither are most people. People are outraged because he is actively campaigning to restrict a segment of the population from a basic human right -- to have their relationship recognized in the same legally binding way as everyone else.

    As an example, if Vidmar's position was that he personally thinks marriage is between a man and a woman, but if other types of marriage became legal he would accept it, I wouldn't be outraged. I might be a bit at the idea that there is some inherent definition of marriage (rather than it being a cultural construct), but I'd figure he was entitled to his opinion.

    But that's not the case here and I'm glad he's resigned.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  3. #23

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    In addition to all the great points MacMadame, sjs5572 and others have made, Peter Vidmar's activities arguably violate the Olympic Charter.

    http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Oly...er_en_2010.pdf

    From the Olympic Charter:
    4. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The organisation, administration and management of sport must be controlled by independent sports organisations.

    5. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
    There are probably plenty of positions he can legitimately hold while simultaneously working to deny gays the same rights that straights have, but Chef de Mission is not one of them.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  4. #24
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    This is in reply to Proustable who basically asked me to explain the meaning of my wording 'fascist manner'.
    George Orwell offers a quite straightforward viewpoint - 'Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept 'bully' as a synonym for 'Fascist' That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.'
    Ref: George Orwell: 'What is Fascism?'. Tribune-GB, London 1944
    Reprinted: 'The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell' 1968.

    Hope this answers your question.

    By the way, didn't the same thing happen in the USA to the director of the LA Film Festival in 2008, Richard Raddon, as has just happened to Peter Vidmar? Both Mormons, both under pressure from pro gays, both resigned from their public appointments. Richard Raddon received enormous amounts of hate telephone calls and e-mails, so much so that people questioned the notion of free speech at that time. It was even reported in our newspaper. Much as I support the gay community, I do hope that does not happen to Peter Vidmar.

  5. #25
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    .... not really.

    Need to read those essays, though.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    Seriously. overedge, I know you're playing Devil's advocate, but it's exactly that kind of ridiculous argument that peopple give (undeserving) real weight too. If I'm campaigning against people's rights, than it doesn't matter what those rights are, I shouldn't be held up as a model for others to emulate.
    I don't think it's a ridiculous argument at all. The inference that's being made here is that Vidmar's views on gay marriage would make him unsuitable to carry out the job of chef de mission. At least two people quoted in Hersh's articles say that despite his views on gay marriage he has always treated gay people fairly. If Vidmar was out campaigning for gay athletes to be banned from the Olympics, I would agree that he shouldn't be the chef de mission. But no one seems to have come forward with examples of how Vidmar's views have affected his work in athletics.

    And for everyone who's arguing that the Olympics have always represented equality and tolerance, and that has to be maintained - the Olympics "represented" those ideals when Jewish athletes were kept off Olympic teams, when the Olympics were held in Nazi Germany, when women weren't allowed to run races of more than 800 meters because their reproductive organs would be damaged, when a man with ties to Spanish fascism headed the IOC, when women were not being allowed to participate in the ski jumping event in 2010, etc. etc. etc. Not that such a nasty history shouldn't be reversed, but the Olympics is maybe not the best example of an organization that is an ideal of non-discrimination.
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  7. #27

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    At least two people quoted in Hersh's articles say that despite his views on gay marriage he has always treated gay people fairly.
    I'm sure Peter has gay friends too.

  8. #28

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    What precisely does the "chef de mission" do?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    I have no problems being intolerant of intolerance. I have never understood why people assume I should tolerate hate in any form.

    Has Peter Vidmar EVER said that he hates gay people? EVER?

    There is a huge, huge gap between people who are opposed to gay marriage and people who hate gays. I don't think that 45% of the US adult population hates gays, but that is about the percentage that currently opposes gay marriage.

    The sooner people quite trying to demonize those who they disagree with, the better.

    Nobody has come up with one scintilla of evidence suggesting that Peter Vidmar has ever discriminated against gay athletes. His personal views -- on gay marriage, use of birth control, political parties, or global warming should have nothing to do with it.

    And frankly, someone who has exhibited the kind of bad sportsmanship and trash talking Weir has demonstrated is the very last person who should be throwing stones at someone else.

  10. #30

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    I wish only 45% of a country disliked gay people.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    What precisely does the "chef de mission" do?
    That's what I want to know.

    I guess they have to find someone who believes nothing at all, who is neither opposed to anything nor in favor of anything.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I don't think it's a ridiculous argument at all. The inference that's being made here is that Vidmar's views on gay marriage would make him unsuitable to carry out the job of chef de mission. At least two people quoted in Hersh's articles say that despite his views on gay marriage he has always treated gay people fairly. If Vidmar was out campaigning for gay athletes to be banned from the Olympics, I would agree that he shouldn't be the chef de mission. But no one seems to have come forward with examples of how Vidmar's views have affected his work in athletics.
    I'll need to understand exactly what his job as chef de mission is before articulating my disdain for the choice, but essentially, if he goes in as an athlete representative, I think that believing certain athletes are lesser due to sexual orientation is enough reason for me not to want him in that position.

    Has Peter Vidmar EVER said that he hates gay people? EVER?

    There is a huge, huge gap between people who are opposed to gay marriage and people who hate gays. I don't think that 45% of the US adult population hates gays, but that is about the percentage that currently opposes gay marriage.

    The sooner people quite trying to demonize those who they disagree with, the better.

    Nobody has come up with one scintilla of evidence suggesting that Peter Vidmar has ever discriminated against gay athletes. His personal views -- on gay marriage, use of birth control, political parties, or global warming should have nothing to do with it.

    And frankly, someone who has exhibited the kind of bad sportsmanship and trash talking Weir has demonstrated is the very last person who should be throwing stones at someone else.
    No, there really isn't.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    That's what I want to know.

    I guess they have to find someone who believes nothing at all, who is neither opposed to anything nor in favor of anything.
    There's having an opinion, and then there's actively working to deny someone a civil right or an opportunity based on the way god made them.

    It's really disingenuous when people claim they can't see that distinction.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  14. #34
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    This is from the Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) website, describing what a chef de mission does. I assume the duties would be pretty much the same for that job representing any country.

    The Chef-de-Mission is the Games delegation and operational leader and should possess strong management, communication and leadership qualities. The Chef-de-Mission should be able to delegate responsibilities and solve problems in a calm way, quickly, decisively, and in a re-assuring way, in particular giving due consideration of the mental, physical and social needs of the Bermuda Team, and the established rules and regulations relating to the conduct of the Games.

    Responsibilities include the following:

    Fulfilling the role of Delegation Leader and the Bermuda Olympic Association’s (BOA’s) representative in the Village.
    Attends the Chef-de-Mission seminar prior to the Games (usually in the year prior to the games).
    Ensures that the needs of all Bermuda athletes and officials are met.
    Collates Games information and ensures appropriate distribution (e.g. to NSGBs, Medical Personnel, athletes, Media).
    Liaises with the Games Organising Committee to solve NOC problems
    Attends pre-Delegation Registration Meeting and (final) Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM).
    In conjunction with Sport Team Leaders, defines and implements the Games operational plan to achieve the BOA’s Games objectives.
    Ensures the supervision of clothing, equipment, finance, transport, accreditation, and accommodation issues.
    Liaises with Media regarding sports preparations, administration and athlete results.
    Ensures arrivals/departures of delegation are completed efficiently and trouble free.
    Supervises the administration of Village guest passes.
    Investigates Village problems and issues concerning the team.
    Manages BOA finances in an efficient and prudent manner.
    Ensures a proper sense of organization, dignity and pride in preparations for ceremonies such as the Village Flag Raising, Games Opening and Closing, and any other official Ceremony of the Games.
    In conjunction with Sport Team Managers, ensures that all athletes and officials recognize the importance of team spirit, decorum, and deportment in their representation of Bermuda, whilst wearing the Bermuda uniform traveling to the Games, during the Games, and returning after the Games.
    Makes a determination on matters of discipline, and reports all such matters to the BOA representatives at the Games.
    Oversees team administration and logistical support in the Village.
    Attends all Chefs-de-Mission meetings at the Games.
    Holds meetings with Team Managers on Games issues as required.
    After approval from the President, appoints the Flag Bearer for the Opening Ceremony, and the Flag Bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
    As a result of limitations, appoints officials who will march in the Opening Ceremony.
    Assumes such other responsibilities as are required, to ensure the orderly conduct of the delegation in their ability to conduct their respective duties and responsibilities in a positive atmosphere, always striving for conditions that provide for an optimum representation by the athletes.
    Receives post Games reports from Sport Team Managers at conclusion of the Games.
    Reviews Team Managers’ Games reports and includes comments as appropriate, in the Chef’s Games Report to BOA, to be completed within six (6) weeks of the conclusion of the Games.
    I believe it's also the chef de mission's role to advocate for the athletes if there is an issue over officiating, e.g. Sally Rehorick, who was the Canadian chef de mission in Salt Lake City, was quite involved in addressing the controversy over the pairs results.
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  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    I'm sure Peter has gay friends too.
    Vidmar has every right to have that opinion. However, when he chose to take it public by openly demonstrating and donating money to Proposition 8, he moved beyond just having an opinion. At that point, he put a bias out into the public sphere. Being that he was taking on a public role, he needed to keep his personal beliefs to himself, IMO. If I was an athlete, I wouldn't want him representing me in any way.

    And before anyone jumps on me, I would feel the same way if an openly gay Chief de Mission had anti-heterosexual views of some sort that spilled out into the public sphere.

    I'm glad I read the rest of the thread because I was getting ready to email the USOC and call them tomorrow.
    Last edited by Allen; 05-09-2011 at 02:38 AM.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Sorry, but that's not a real friend if he's out campaigning against gay marriage.
    I think that was manhn's point.
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  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    I think that was manhn's point.
    I wasn't sure of the inflection in that one. I edited it out.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  18. #38

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    I don't see how his opinions on gay marriage or any political hot topic have anything to do with his role with the USOC. He is a human being and he will have opinions that people do not like. No matter who is chosen we could find someone who doesn't like something about that person. If he wasn't using his position to rally for political purposes then let him do what he wants in his free time. He is wrong, IMO, but he is allowed to be wrong.
    -Brian
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  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Vidmar has every right to have that opinion. However, when he chose to take it public by openly demonstrating and donating money to Proposition 8, he moved beyond just having an opinion. At that point, he put a bias out into the public sphere. Being that he was taking on a public role, he needed to keep his personal beliefs to himself, IMO. If I was an athlete, I wouldn't want him representing me in any way.

    And before anyone jumps on me, I would feel the same way if an openly gay Chief de Mission had anti-heterosexual views of some sort that spilled out into the public sphere.

    I'm glad I read the rest of the thread because I was getting ready to email the USOC and call them tomorrow.
    Are you really suggesting that anyone who has ever expressed any view in the public sphere should be disqualified from this type of position if it offended somebody, somewhere? Maybe the fat acceptance folks will need to get all over the next candidate because he/she publicly advocates against obesity, and therefore is against rights for fat people.

    Gay marriage advocates ought to understand that successful promotion of gay marriage rights isn't going to come through demonizing people like Peter Vidmar because of their religious beliefs.

    This was shameful, and I'm sorry Phil Hersh participated in this. I'm not at all surprised Johnny's on the warpath, though, since he seems to continually operate under the delusion that all his travails in figure skating were because he is gay rather than looking in a mirror and seeing his own deficiencies.

  20. #40
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    I have mixed feelings on this too - especially out of concern that this could fuel a "oh no we're being persecuted for our faith" response that happened when people protested outside LDS churches after Prop 8.

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