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  1. #701
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    Not a single male out athlete at those Olympic Games. How depressing.

    (Not that London was much better with like around 10 athletes out, out of thousands, IIRC)

  2. #702
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    NBC has hired journalist to cover political side of Winter Olympics - including anti-gay laws
    New Yorker Editor David Remnick is an expert on Russia
    10 DECEMBER 2013 | BY GREG HERNANDEZ

    Excerpt:

    NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in will now include New Yorker editor David Remnick focusing on Russia's politics including the country's anti-gay propaganda law.

    Remnick is an expert on Russia writing pieces for The New Yorker about Russian politics and culture. He is the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post.

    'David is a distinguished journalist who knows Russia very well, and we’re excited to have his expertise on the host country for our Sochi coverage,' Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics, said in a statement.
    - See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/n....0xXR32sv.dpuf

  3. #703
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    Sort of related. Michelle Kwan retweeted this:

    http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/218567.htm

    The recent enactment of Russia’s anti-propaganda law is as outrageous as it is dangerous. And it is a reminder that whether the struggle for equality takes the form of equal employee benefits or protection from being imprisoned or executed, we have a long way to go. We are well into the 21st century and yet some seventy-eight countries still have laws that criminalize consensual sex between adults. In some countries, the sentence for being gay is still the death penalty.

    Let’s be clear: To criticize the criminalization of LGBT status is not cultural imperialism. And to deny gays and lesbians the right to live freely – and to threaten them with discrimination or even death – is not a form of moral or religious puritanism. It’s in fact barbarism. And on this International Human Rights Day it is imperative that we reaffirm our commitment to advancing and protecting the rights of LGBT persons, whether in Kansas or in Kampala.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  4. #704
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    Twitter:

    Towleroad ‏@tlrd 53m
    EU Commissioner Boycotts Sochi Olympics, Joins German President http://tlrd.us/1jNehd9

  5. #705
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    Russia to Set Up Protest Zones in Sochi, IOC Head Says: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/sochi2...Head-Says.html
    LAUSANNE, Switzerland — IOC President Thomas Bach said Russia will set up public protest zones in Sochi during the Winter Olympics, a move unlikely to defuse criticism of the country's human rights record and a recent law banning gay "propaganda."

    With the opening ceremony less than two months away, Bach said Sochi organizers notified him of the decision during their report to the International Olympic Committee executive board.

    Bach, chairing his first board meeting since being elected president in September, said the Russians would establish specially designated zones for "people who want to express their opinion or want to demonstrate for or against something."

    Bach said he did not have any details on where the protest zones would be located or how they would be managed during the games, which run from Feb. 7 to 23.

    "This is a measure we welcome, so that everybody can express his or her free opinion," he said at a news conference Tuesday.
    ...
    On Tuesday, the IOC board also approved a letter that will be sent to athletes reminding them to refrain from any protests or political gestures during the Sochi Games. The Russian law has raised questions about what could happen to athletes who wear pins or badges or carry flags supporting gay rights.
    "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

  6. #706
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    It would be incredible if Gauck and Reding's decisions started a snowball effect.

  7. #707

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    I vaguely recall Vancouver doing something like that or at least contemplating something akin. But the protesters protested wherever they damned pleased. There were two major protests--the one on the first weekend where some violence broke out and one on the last weekend which was pretty peaceful. For the most part, very little protesting of any sort, contrary to expectation.

  8. #708
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    For an example of Remnick's writing on Russia, here's a link to a piece he wrote after the Bolshoi's Artistic Director, Sergei Filin, was attacked with acid:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...a_fact_remnick
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  9. #709

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    (Re Protest Zones) Yeah, well, to me it sounds like Russia just wants to corral the protesters to keep things/them under control. There was nothing understanding, supportive, or progressive in this recent decision, IMHO.

    O-

  10. #710
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    (Re Protest Zones) Yeah, well, to me it sounds like Russia just wants to corral the protesters to keep things/them under control. There was nothing understanding, supportive, or progressive in this recent decision, IMHO.

    O-
    What, no troops to ride in and break heads open?

    (Undoubtedly I have watched the Lean/Sharif/Christie version of "Doctor Zhivago" too many times.)
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  11. #711
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    I don't remember if this has been discussed already but there is a documentary called "Putin's Games" which sheds light on all of the shady backroom stuff surrounding the preparation for the Olympics.

    The film contains accusations of corruption and environmental destruction as well as bemusement with organising Winter Olympic Games in a city located in sub-tropical climate. Valery Morozov, the construction magnate contracted to do a lot of the work reveals that whilst he was aware from the beginning of the amount of bribes he would need to pay in order to get the contracts, they have been continuously hiked up and he received threats he would be 'drowned in blood,' eventually forcing him to flee with his family to the UK where he is now seeking asylum.

    Scenes Putin Doesn't Want You to See - The Independent (UK)
    'Putin's Games' Sheds Light On Corruption, Abuse In Sochi - Radio Free Europe
    'Putin's Games' Review - Variety
    The film Russia tried to block: The 'threats and corruption' behind Sochi Olympics - Daily Torygraph

    Alexander Gentelev's Putin's Games is the kind of movie bound to infuriate the authorities. It draws attention to the chaos, environmental destruction and corruption that have dogged preparations for next February's Winter Olympics in Sochi (which now have an estimated cost of $50bn.)
    Last edited by Ziggy; 12-11-2013 at 10:56 PM.

  12. #712
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    Thanks for those articles, Ziggy. Wonder what the reaction of the Russian government was to all those accusations. Something like the film producers are enemies of the hard-working people of Russia and that the construction magnate is actually on the payrolls of the British Intelligence Services and the CIA?

  13. #713
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    The City of Vancouver is sending the deputy mayor, who is gay, to advocate for all future Olympics to have Pride Houses as a condition of being awarded the Games:
    http://www.straight.com/news/547261/...uture-olympics
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  14. #714

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    Putin delivered his annual State of the Country address yesterday & declared that Russia is a country of traditional values (not like 'genderless and infertile' societies in the West): http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion...rvative_values

    While I personally cannot applaud him, I understand that when we visit countires with values different than our own, it is best to shut up and enjoy the privilege granted as temporary guests in that country. Visitors will eventually return to their own homes, where they can live as they wish. If folks want to make a big stink about Russia's values, they can certainly do that in their own countries. People who hate Russian values should stay out of Russia, if it's going to stress them out. I stay away from Saudi Arabia because I personally do not want to be covered from head to toe when out in the street.

    Maybe the ISU should consider national values before awarding an Olympics to a certain country? But how to do that fairly??? Just consider host-countries that allow gay partnerships/marriages?

    Johnny Weir said it best when asked about this a few weeks ago during a G-P event: "The Olympics is a sacred event that should be above this discussion. Athletes will go to compete (and not to whine about Russian law)." - paraphrase
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  15. #715
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    So when people's human rights are being abused in countries other than our own, we should just shut up and turn a blind eye to it?
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  16. #716
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    Frau Muller, if you are interested in reading some of the responses to your post, I suggest reading the previous pages because everything you stated was already brought up and discussed.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  17. #717
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    Putin delivered his annual State of the Country address yesterday & declared that Russia is a country of traditional values (not like 'genderless and infertile' societies in the West): http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion...rvative_values
    Oh, yes, Russia's 2012 fertility rate of 1.61 just trumps all of those countries where gay marriage and partnerships are rampant, such as:

    US: 2.06
    UK: 1.91
    France: 2.09
    Belgium: 1.65
    Norway: 1.77
    Sweden: 1.67
    Finland: 1.73

    and it's so much higher than Canada's 1.59. Yep, that infertile West, where no gay people ever have children of their own, and lesbians are too stupid to figure out how to bear children without a guy around.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=31&c=fi&l=en
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  18. #718
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    Yesterday a blog was released claiming that Johnny works for the Russian consulate (hence, I guess to the person making the claim, his lack of activism against the law). This was based on his "Premiere Speakers" bio, which stated that he had worked WITH the Russian consulate in reference, presumably, to this: http://www.rcws.org/events_Benefit_gala.htm A bit of resume padding, to be sure, but nothing too damning. On Twitter, this blew up into "Johnny is an agent of the Russian government" and "Johnny is an agent of the Kremlin." And as ever, he is being called an "Uncle Tom," a "traitor," etc. This story has gotten totally out of control, picked up even by Out magazine and Salon, and is based on very little. I agree that Johnny has stuck his foot in his mouth a few times, but this is ridiculous. I don't think he has expressed real disgust with the Russian law in months, and he really should.

  19. #719
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    Does Johnny's husband still have many relatives living within the borders of the Russian Federation?

    Perhaps (total speculation here) Johnny and Victor are worried about reprisals against those individuals if Johnny speaks or acts out too publicly against the law or encourages others to do so before and during the Games.
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  20. #720
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post
    A bit of resume padding, to be sure, but nothing too damning.
    There is a lot of resume padding in that bio. Maybe not around that particular issue, but combining "honoured keynote speaker, valued panelist and spokesperson" into one category is a little misleading in that he probably hasn't performed all three roles for all the companies that are listed.
    http://premierespeakers.com/johnny_weir/bio
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

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