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  1. #821

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    What would be nice (IMO) is if the US and other countries used the Olys to set up centers where (Russian) gays facing persecution could obtain political asylum.

  2. #822
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domshabfan View Post
    It is not Russia and Belarus alone that have such laws... most countries around world have far harsher rules... so what you are saying is unrealistic...
    The largest delegations and the ones with the most competitive athletes and involved media at the Winter Olympics aside from Russia and China are from North America -- the US cleared the biggest Federal obstacle with the Supreme Court decision on DOMA -- Oceania, Japan, and Western Europe/Scandinavia. The Summer Olympics would be a different story, with far wider participation from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

    I doubt that the non-participation in an organized protest among four athletes from Iran would make much of an impact.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Wi...pic_Committees

    If the large delegations chose outerwear to make a rainbow point, it would be quite visible. The French could wear purple for the fleur de lys.
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  3. #823
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I don't think that the Sochi Olys should be allowed to pass in silence over the anti-gay climate in Russia, but I don't think it merits comparisons with Nazi Germany.
    I guess I'm falling prey to the Internet-wide ban on mentioning the Nazis, but again my comparison is narrow and rather stuck in a PR perspective (not surprisingly.) I'm only referring to how Hitler used the games for propaganda and asking that Putin not be permitted to do the same. In the run-up to the Beijing games, human rights activists for Tibet made a lot of noise, and maybe that is the more pertinent comparison.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  4. #824
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    This isn't correct. Homosexuality was illegal. Gays were arrested for things like for instance cruising (sorry couldn't resist ). I'm not old enough to have experienced the 50s but what I've read gays who were not deeply in the closet faced harassment and arrest by the authorities. The medical establishment deemed homosexuality a mental illness. And as far as political movements using anti-gay attitudes for their own agendas? That's still happening in the U.S.

    The law recently passed in Russia is alarming but I don't think we can conclude at this time that Russia is about to round up gays and put them in death camps.
    I was around in the 50s, but I was a child. I do remember that people did not talk about homosexuality (more so in the 60s), except in whispers - speculating on who may or may not be. Rock Hudson, probably, being the most whispered about. But, I don't remember people being arrested. Though it may be that it just was not publicized, and I was unaware of it. I don't anticipate Russia rounding up gays and putting them in death camps. However, we don't know how violent this could become.. It is very alarming.

    And yes, it is not a non-issue in the US. There is still anti-gay sentiment and intolerance in the US. And it is used for political manipulation. I don't understand it, I never will. I just don't understand why people feel they need to control what others do, when it has nothing to do with them. I've said this many times: If you are lucky enough to find someone, in this world, who you love and who loves you back, why should anyone else care if it is same sex or opposite sex? Love is love, it should be celebrated, not dissected.

  5. #825
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    This is a pretty scary article, IMO. The fact that a movement like this exists, and is being celebrated and glorified, speaks volumes to the climate and culture in Russia.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/7/459...upy-pedofilyay

    Within minutes, the plot is laid bare. The boy he met online was a decoy — a fake online persona created to lure him into a trap. Like spiders toying with a fresh fly, the young Russians behind the operation ridicule and excoriate the alleged pedophile, forcing him to pose with dildos, painting his face, and pouring urine over his head. A cellphone catches it all on video, but cuts off just as the group begins kicking and punching him.
    People who belong to these groups say they serve a greater good by publicly humiliating alleged pedophiles, based on the pretext that their videos will deter others from engaging in similar behavior: pursue sex with a boy, and the entire world will watch you drink urine on camera. But opponents describe their tactics as crude, violent, and reckless. And in light of President Vladimir Putin’s recent crackdown on gay rights, some worry that the movements will only gain momentum going forward — fanning the flames of hate and bigotry as the Kremlin looks to shore up support among its conservative base.

    "Being outed in a small city or village in Russia very often means death," says Larry Poltavtsev of the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group for gay rights in Eastern Europe. "Exposed teenagers may commit suicide, or they’ll be harassed by your peers, their parents may kick them out of their house. It’s a nightmare."

  6. #826
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    @cruisin: This outside this discussion but the seminal event in the movement for gay rights in the US is considered to be the Stonewal Riots in 1969, which came about because of police raids on gay bars. More info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
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  7. #827
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    I still don't see why the comparison with Nazi Germany. Wouldn't a better comparison be with the Olympics in Beijing?
    You are analyzing the matter logically. For many people, it's a highly charged emotional issue, and rational arguments apparently aren't going to be very successful at persuading them.

    For what it's worth, in the runup to the Beijing Olympics, people were comparing that event with what happened in Berlin in 1936.

    Schwarzenberg warns Beijing Olympics could be repeat of 1936 Nazi Games

    As the Olympic torch continues its way across the world, surrounded by a coterie of track-suited Chinese security guards, many are calling for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Games in Beijing in the light of human rights abuses in Tibet. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has become the latest Czech politician to add his voice to those calls.

    Karel Schwarzenberg has spoken out over the Olympics in no uncertain terms. After a meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner, Mr Schwarzenberg went so far as to compare this year’s Beijing Olympics to the Berlin Olympics organised by Nazi Germany.

    “All European nations should have learnt enough of a lesson from 1936, when Hitler used the Olympic Games to his favour. He had an excellent propaganda filmmaker in Leni Riefenstahl, and that film about the Olympics was superb, but such wanton abuse of the Olympic ideals for propaganda purposes – this should never happen again.”

  8. #828
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    Yes people compare all kinds of things with Nazi Germany.

    I have a couple of concerns about that being done in this case. One is that it simply inflames this situation and makes it less likely Russia will take protests into consideration, if there is a chance they will at all. Second, a lot of people may hear these comparisons who don't know any details of what is going on and think there is some literal truth to likening it to Nazi Germany.

    A few weeks ago someone asked me about the pogroms against gays in Russia. My hair pretty much stood up on end. My ancestors fled Russia because of the pogroms. I don't think it helps to exaggerate.
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  9. #829

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    Call for Russia to be stripped of Olympics over gay law
    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/spor...s-over-gay-law
    Russia on Wednesday faced a mounting campaign against its hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi after passing what campaigners called "barbaric" anti-gay legislation, six months before the opening of its biggest ever sporting event.

    British actor Stephen Fry called for Russia to be barred from hosting the Games in the Black Sea resort while gay rights campaigners handed over a 320,000-signature petition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging it to condemn the law.
    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #830
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Yes people compare all kinds of things with Nazi Germany.

    I have a couple of concerns about that being done in this case. One is that it simply inflames this situation and makes it less likely Russia will take protests into consideration, if there is a chance they will at all. Second, a lot of people may hear these comparisons who don't know any details of what is going on and think there is some literal truth to likening it to Nazi Germany.

    A few weeks ago someone asked me about the pogroms against gays in Russia. My hair pretty much stood up on end. My ancestors fled Russia because of the pogroms. I don't think it helps to exaggerate.
    I'm going to disagree, BlueRidge. It's important to call a spade a spade. If it walks like a right-wing hate law, and talks like a right-wing hate law, call it a right-wing hate law. The wording, language, and effect of this anti-gay propaganda law and it's subsequent effects are quite similar to laws enacted prior to the Nazi regime. There should be no harm in drawing historical parallels.

    Of course, the over-use of anyone calling something they don't like akin to Nazi Germany dilutes the very impact of the statement.

    But over-used or not, the parallels are striking. Now that the violence is being exposed on a daily basis, it's hard to sit still and think this is all an intellectual discussion. It seems the violence and subjugation has been happening for quite some time, and somehow it is now slowly becoming legal. The government and law enforcement are turning a blind-eye to serious violence.

  11. #831

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    Quote Originally Posted by hydro View Post
    But over-used or not, the parallels are striking. Now that the violence is being exposed on a daily basis, it's hard to sit still and think this is all an intellectual discussion. It seems the violence and subjugation has been happening for quite some time, and somehow it is now slowly becoming legal. The government and law enforcement are turning a blind-eye to serious violence.
    ^^This. It's an appropriate comparison in this situation IMHO.
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  12. #832
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    Can someone link to some reports on the violence? I was trying to find reports on this but didn't find them.
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  13. #833
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    @cruisin: This outside this discussion but the seminal event in the movement for gay rights in the US is considered to be the Stonewal Riots in 1969, which came about because of police raids on gay bars. More info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots
    In 1969, I was 16, and rather oblivious (as most 16 year olds are) to things that didn't effect me. I didn't know (or at least didn't know I knew) anyone who was gay, so I no real frame of reference. Thank you for that article, it was enlightening. I had no idea that was going on, not so far from where I lived. Interesting, thought, 1969 for me was Woodstock. Interesting that the same year, in the same state, a music celebration that represented peace, love, tolerance happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Can someone link to some reports on the violence? I was trying to find reports on this but didn't find them.
    I have seen little written reports. Most of the violence, I have heard about, has been on TV news.

    FWIW, I agree that the comparison to Nazi Germany is extreme, at this point. But, maybe it is because we know what ultimately happened during the Holocaust. The comparison might be addressing the more subtle and insidious hate leading up to the Holocaust.

  14. #834
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Can someone link to some reports on the violence? I was trying to find reports on this but didn't find them.
    There have been a number of links within this thread. Sadly, however, one needn't look to Russia for violence against gays - it's happening everywhere, including NYC. I suppose one meaningful difference, however, is that within New York at least, the crimes are prosecuted and not ignored.
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  15. #835
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    Yes when I search for links on violence against Gays in Russia, I get more links to information on violence against gays in the US. Russia does not track these crimes as hate crimes so there is no clear record of them. I have seen the reports of police standing by while pro-gay protests are attacked violently. It sounds like a terrible situation. I don't see a need to debate whether it is like Nazi Germany.
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  16. #836

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    I think it's not just a comparison with Nazi Germany in general. I think it's more a comparison with Nazi Germany as hosts of the Olympics, which is a pretty specific historical context with many similarities.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  17. #837
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    There are only similiarities if there is validity to the likening of Russia today to Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

    As I said before, I think the clearer parallel would be with Beijing in 2008.
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  18. #838

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    In terms of what should supporters of gay rights/human rights from outside Russia do regarding the Olympics,

    What would be the goal of the action?
    -Convince Russian authorities, and homophobic Russian citizens, to rethink their laws and attitudes -- at least in small increments if not a sudden complete reversal?
    -Express moral support, and maybe offer real tangible support, for gay Russians?
    -Ensure that Olympic athletes and other Olympic visitors would be safe?
    -Distance ourselves from any sense of complicity with laws, attitudes, and behavior we deplore?

    The last, I think, is least important in the greater scheme of things.

    Then the question is, what actions would be most likely to achieve positive results regarding the first three goals? And at what cost? Who would be most affected by one or more nations choosing to boycott the Olympics? Who would be most affected by pro-LBGT symbolism/statements/actions in Sochi under the Olympic spotlight?

    Either way, I think that actions would be more effective the more participants are involved. One country boycotting will have far more negative effect on that country's athletes than positive effect on the lives of gay Russians. Protests or statements by individuals while in Russia are exactly what would put those individuals at risk under the current laws.

    What I'd really like to see is an effort by the IOC to ensure a safe space for gay athletes to be themselves while at the Olympics and for all Olympic visitors who oppose these laws and support the rights of gay Russians to be able to safely do so publicly while they're in Sochi.

  19. #839

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    Convince Russian authorities, and homophobic Russian citizens, to rethink their laws and attitudes -- at least in small increments if not a sudden complete reversal?
    You make a point here that should be emphasized. This kind of cultural change is a slow, sometimes glacial, process and are there are no complete reversals likely, only little bits, sometimes almost invisible bits of progress which add up. Earlier in this thread someone mentioned the Stonewall riots in NYC. For those here who are not familiar with Stonewall - look into it. It was a while ago (1969) and was a line of demarcation in terms of fighting for (then) homosexual rights (now LGBT rights) publicly. There is no question there were quieter skirmishes earlier but Stonewall took the battle public and look how long it has taken, and we're hardly finished in the US - we have a ways to go yet.

    So no one is at the end of the road and many countries are at the beginning. All we can do is make our voices heard and know that pressure, discussion and issue visibility will, over time, produce change. It may be a long time but there is no excuse not to try - it will all help. Do I think the O's should be cancelled or boycotted - not now. But I do think people should keep talking about the rights of the LGBT world community and make the point where and when the point can be made effectively. The fact that there will not be a Pride House at this O's (as opposed to several previous O's) should be front and center so that all countries and all people can see how the host country has imposed their politics on the Olympic landscape/profile.

  20. #840
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    It's two olympics. Vancouver and London with pride houses. It can be an IOC mandate in the future like a skating rink but was from the host. A demonstration of the no discrimination spirit? But has not been integrated as a requirement of hosting.

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