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  1. #1
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    Will any gay skaters boycott the games?

    I'm starting to hear some horror stories about Russia.

    Anti-gay bill passes 436-0 vote

    http://news.yahoo.com/russian-lawmak...164959267.html

    A girl getting kicked in the face by two homophobes

    http://news.yahoo.com/lightbox/two-s...134506399.html

    As a gay man I have decided that a trip to Sochi is no longer in the cards. I was really looking forward to it, but to be honest I wouldn't feel safe. Am I reading too much into things, or is homophobia such a big problem in Russia?



    I wonder if we'll hear anything from the gay skaters.

  2. #2

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    This is not surprising or new news, unfortunately.

    Weir wrote about his experience in Moscow in November 2012: http://fcnp.com/2012/11/16/johnnys-w...tale-volume-1/

    ETA this news thread earlier this year in GSD: Sochi Olympics will test gay rights
    Last edited by Sylvia; 06-12-2013 at 01:47 AM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  3. #3
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    I posted about this today on Twitter and Facebook. And I sent tweets of concern to @USFigureSkating, @USOlympic, @NBCOlympics, @Sochi2014 and Phil Hersh @olyphil.

    Terrible law...terrible step back to the bad old days! How are gay athletes, coaches, staff, fans, tourists and those who love them supposed to feel safe there for the Winter Olympics in Sochi2014?

    Even if one is not gay, it is conceivably possible that you could be fined, arrested and deported just for expressing support of gay people!

    EDIT: Phil later tweeted about this...

    Philip Hersh ‏@olyphil 1h
    Russia (2014 Olympics, 2018 World Cup) joins Qatar (2022 World Cup) in legal homophobia. Disgraceful. http://ind.pn/15V3wxp
    Philip Hersh ‏@olyphil 2h
    New Russian law says it is illegal to make "false statement" about "socially equal nature of traditional and non-traditional relationships”.
    Last edited by dardar1126; 06-12-2013 at 02:07 AM.

  4. #4

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    ^^^ If you want, go ahead and bump up the thread in GSD by re-posting what you just wrote, dardar1126.

    ETA: You might want to quote dot's post for context.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    ^^^ If you want, go ahead and bump up the thread in GSD by re-posting what you just wrote, dardar1126.

    ETA: You might want to quote dot's post for context.
    Already did both.

  6. #6

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    Link to the revived discussion thread in GSD: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...=1#post3937942
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  7. #7
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    No.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    No.
    Why?
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Why?
    I don't think, that any attack will reach the gay athletes in Sochi. No one will care of it. Olympic Games are held four years, I do not think that should be left out. I'm sure, you remember, before Beijing some people wanted to boycott because of Tibet. They are right, but I don't believe that the boycott was a good idea. Only athletes go wrong.

  10. #10

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    I agree with the Iron Lady. Maybe some gay athletes would boycott, but I doubt it. To make a really generalized statement that isn't true for all athletes but will say it anyway. Athletes are focused on their individual or team's glory in their sport. They have dedicated their lives to it. That makes them a little self-serving and I'm sure their interest in achieving that goal (winning a medal, winning gold, making it to the finals, some stepping foot in the Games, etc.) outweighs any other political or personal feelings they have regarding Russia's laws on homosexuality. The athletes have already rationalized every hardship and sacrifice they had to endure to make it to the Olympic level. They're probably thinking one more personal sacrifice wouldn't hurt.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I agree with the Iron Lady. Maybe some gay athletes would boycott, but I doubt it. To make a really generalized statement that isn't true for all athletes but will say it anyway. Athletes are focused on their individual or team's glory in their sport. They have dedicated their lives to it. That makes them a little self-serving and I'm sure their interest in achieving that goal (winning a medal, winning gold, making it to the finals, some stepping foot in the Games, etc.) outweighs any other political or personal feelings they have regarding Russia's laws on homosexuality. The athletes have already rationalized every hardship and sacrifice they had to endure to make it to the Olympic level. They're probably thinking one more personal sacrifice wouldn't hurt.
    I agree. I think it's easier for a fan or tourist to not go, but for an athlete this may be their one shot that they have worked years towards. The athletes can't be choosy about which country happens to be hosting the Olympics and if they agree with everything the country stands for.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dots View Post
    I'm starting to hear some horror stories about Russia.

    Anti-gay bill passes 436-0 vote

    http://news.yahoo.com/russian-lawmak...164959267.html

    A girl getting kicked in the face by two homophobes

    http://news.yahoo.com/lightbox/two-s...134506399.html

    As a gay man I have decided that a trip to Sochi is no longer in the cards. I was really looking forward to it, but to be honest I wouldn't feel safe. Am I reading too much into things, or is homophobia such a big problem in Russia?

    I wonder if we'll hear anything from the gay skaters.
    Russia's poor record for human rights was well known when the IOC awarded the games to Sochi in 2007, and I doubt that incidents of violence directed against gay people are any more prevalent now than they were then.

    Extract from a Wikipedia article that appears to rely heavily on data from around 2007 says:

    The European Court of Human Rights has become overwhelmed with cases from Russia. As of June 1, 2007, 22.5% of its pending cases were directed against the Russian Federation.[6] In 2006 there were 151 admissible applications against Russia (out of 1634 for all the countries), while in 2005 - 110 (of 1036), in 2004 - 64 (of 830), in 2003 - 15 (of 753), in 2002 - 12 (of 578).

    According to international human rights organizations as well as domestic press, violations of human rights in Russia include widespread and systematic torture of persons in custody by police, dedovshchina in Russian Army, neglect and cruelty in Russian orphanages, violations of children's rights.[14] According to Amnesty International there is discrimination, racism, and murders of members of ethnic minorities. Since 1992 at least 50 journalists have been killed across the country.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Russia

    The time for speaking up on the wisdom of selecting Sochi was six years ago. There certainly were organizations criticizing the choice on human-rights grounds, but neither athletes nor gay-rights organizations were in the vanguard then. I doubt that any gay skaters will boycott the games; Russia's poor human rights record has been known for as long as any of them have been preparing for the upcoming Olympics.

    If fears for your own safety are what is keeping you from going, though, I think you should do a bit more investigation before you decide not to go. A few high-profile incidents in other parts of Russia do not necessarily mean that Sochi, which will have added levels of security at the time, will be any more dangerous than other cities that have hosted the Games recently.

  13. #13
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    I don't honestly think there are any 'out' gay skaters that will compete in Sochi. Even if Johnny were competing, I still don't think he would push aside another chance at the Olympics in protest. I don't know. It's a lifelong dream for any athlete that makes it there. It's about their personal journey, struggle and sacrifice. Would they feel uncomfortable and possibly scared? I would imagine so, yes. It would be slightly unhealthy for them to have to deal with the stress of being amongst people who want them dead, burned, and desecrated, while mentally making themselves strong enough to compete on the world's biggest stage... but would they do it? My guess is yes.

  14. #14
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    Given Russia's long, long list of what's quaintly called "human rights violations" I doubt adding one more to the list is going to make any difference to most athletes. For starters, they can if necessary stay within the Olympic village and venues under security. It would take a huge amount of self-sacrifice to give up a shot at the Olympics over principle or even fear for their own safety.

    Do I think fans/spectators ought to be giving Russia their tourism dollars? Personally I wouldn't and not even only now or because of this particular law.

  15. #15

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    Just for the record- the one being beaten on the photo is a guy, not a girl. Not that it changes anything... he was later saved by the photographers. The ones who beat him were a bunch of well prganized and payed 12-13 y.o. idiots.

    In general onowing russian and reading both the official and the opposition blogs before i went to russia for the first time i had a completely wrong impression of how things were there . It turned out to. Be not as bad as i imagined (though mich to my friends' amusement i keep doing things in russia which, according to them no sane person would).
    I reckon the opympic venue is going to be isplated.enough so all of us, gay and pro gay preverts can stay away from the pure russians.

  16. #16

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    No skaters will boycott Olympics.

    I dont know enough about the law in Russia. I didnt do my reading.
    i do know that tomorrow I am attending Pride in Zagreb for my friends.
    As of March 2013 - no longer scared of TAHbKA or Andrey aka Pushkin

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosjenka View Post
    No skaters will boycott Olympics.

    I dont know enough about the law in Russia. I didnt do my reading.
    i do know that tomorrow I am attending Pride in Zagreb for my friends.
    Russia are 50 years behind the rest of the world? This was evident by Smirnov's haircut.

    Disgusting and pathetic but hardly surprising. Beyond their horrific human rights record, how a country that still maintains an organised doping program can be granted an Olympic games, I will never know. Oh right. Money. If people spend their hard earned cash visiting this shithole and attending the games, then they'll justify that decision. I hope the games bomb, literally.
    Last edited by poths; 06-14-2013 at 11:03 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond
    The time for speaking up on the wisdom of selecting Sochi was six years ago. There certainly were organizations criticizing the choice on human-rights grounds, but neither athletes nor gay-rights organizations were in the vanguard then. I doubt that any gay skaters will boycott the games; Russia's poor human rights record has been known for as long as any of them have been preparing for the upcoming Olympics.

    If fears for your own safety are what is keeping you from going, though, I think you should do a bit more investigation before you decide not to go. A few high-profile incidents in other parts of Russia do not necessarily mean that Sochi, which will have added levels of security at the time, will be any more dangerous than other cities that have hosted the Games recently.
    I absolutely agree with this. There usually is added levels of security where the Olympics is held and at the Olympic Village.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  19. #19

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    Most unlikely - to the thread question
    I don't think 'gay skaters' (whoever they are) boycotting Sochi will make any difference (as in reversing the anti-gay legislation). At most, just some publicity in their home country. If they wish to boycott Sochi, it is likely they need their federation's approval too. Would skating federations want to get involved in such issues?
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  20. #20
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    The best way to protest is to participate, and win !

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