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Sochi Olympics will test gay rights

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

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  1. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I hope this encourages a few politically-minded athletes across the board (and in every sport) to engage in some same-sex kissing and displays of affection (whether or not they are in fact homosexual) just to show solidarity with their LGBT friends, family, teammates, fans, etc.
  2. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    I think the sports organizations will stay mum. A LOT of money is at stake...Russia has paid millions of dollars to the IOC, etc., for the Olympics.

    The news organizations will probably ignore this matter in regard to the sports aspect...especially NBC who has the coverage rights to the games ($$$ rears its greedy little head again). There will certainly be continued coverage of the anti-gay riots and the new law, but this will be in a political sphere...and most people will pay little attention to it as it doesn't affect them personally.

    The athletes (both gay and straight) will also probably keep quiet. This is a once-every-four-years chance for them...for most this will be their ONLY CHANCE at going to an Olympics. Few, if any, will want to take the risk of jeopardizing this opportunity.

    Most are too young to remember the US boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980 and the subsequent Soviet boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. While symbolic, neither boycott really changed anything policy-wise, and the athletes were the ones to pay the price.

    I don't know what the answer is, but the wrong people, the innocent people, always seem to be the ones who get hurt the most. But I also think of this quote from Martin Niemöller, a German pastor and theologian who lead a group of clergymen who opposed Hitler in WWII:

    I hope someone speaks out.

    **NOTE: This is one of several versions of his statement.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  3. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    The IOC awarded an Olympic Games to CHINA of all places.
  4. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I see no reason why sports and politics shouldn't mix, especially since both are part of a society's landscape and sports decisions have political viewpoints built in to them and political ramifications. Dialogue over political issues and even fighting is preferable to silence. The notion that the Olympics Games should be politics-free just because it is the Olympic Games is absurd.

    While it's true that attending the Olympic games is a cherished and hard-earned opportunity for athletes, the world might be a better place if athletes could look beyond that to take a political stance. There are issues of far greater import than athletic competitions.

    There certainly were political reasons to boycott Vancouver's Games and I didn't - because attending was a cherished and hard-earned opportunity for me - but I'm no model of political activism in this case. I admire those who take a stand in such situations and think that their voices need to be heard.
  5. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think Australia should ban Chinese investment, Chinese students and Chinese tourists.

    I am not against speaking out and human rights. I am questioning the best way to bring about 'change' if that is what we are all trying to achieve. Different countries and different cultures deal with 'change' differently. IMO, for change to occur, it must come from within. That is, the people in that country must be able to see the 'reasons for change'. External forces can only do so much, and sometimes may have reverse effect. What have the past boycotts of Olympics achieved?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  6. Sugar

    Sugar Well-Known Member

    Russian lawmakers pass anti-gay bill in 436-0 vote
    A widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by much of Russia's political and religious elite. Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia's already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment or be exiled....Foreign citizens arrested under the new law can be deported or jailed for up to 15 days and then deported.

    So now gay coaches/athletes are expected to go compete in Russia, a country with laws that can subject them to hate and imprisonment. Seems foolhardy?? :confused:

    What can the ISU/IOC do to assure their Olympic athletes are safe from violence and legal persecution? :confused:
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Try to convince them to stay in the village, where security will be tight (or at least there will be a plan for tight security).
  8. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

    :(Russian gays:(
    The world is stepping backwards again.
  9. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    Am starting to get an impression Sochi building is in such a s@#$t that the Russian government is looking for every possible loophole to make the athletes (and preferably countries with the whole teams) not come....
  10. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

    Johnny Weir-Voronov &#8207;@JohnnyGWeir 13 Nov
    Kissing for freedom. &#1055;&#1086;&#1094;&#1077;&#1083;&#1091;&#1081; &#1079;&#1072; &#1089;&#1074;&#1086;&#1073;&#1086;&#1076;&#1091;. @ &#1050;&#1088;&#1072;&#1089;&#1085;&#1072;&#1103; &#1055;&#1083;&#1086;&#1097;&#1072;&#1076;&#1100; &#1043;&#1086;&#1088;&#1086;&#1076; &#1052;&#1086;&#1089;&#1082;&#1074;&#1072; http://instagr.am/p/R-EwfBBhZm/
  11. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Wheeeeeeee!

    And what about the thousands of affected spectators?

    Wow. This situation is vile. What an ignorant, backwards, downright stupid society. And to think I've spent a ridiculous amount of $$$ on tickets for Mr. DaveRocks and I to attend.

    Absolutely disgusted.
    UMBS Go Blue, alilou, manhn and 5 others like this.
  12. babayaga

    babayaga Well-Known Member

    This law is disgusting, what a shame. However, I doubt any of the foreign athletes or visitors are in any danger. Most of "laws" is Russia are applied selectively mostly to fight against people inside Russia. :( I think even if a foreign athlete will actually violate this law, the Russian government will prefer not to notice, but every little word or sign from a local person will result with them being punished in a heartbeat.
  13. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

    Are you kidding? There was a law suit which was dismissed in the end , but it existed.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  14. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

  15. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about the Russian political landscape but how is Russia's political party situation? Is there a climate that allows for debate and discussion? If no, then I can understand why it unanimously passed. If yes, then that is just illustrative of the attitudes regarding gay men and women in Russia.
  16. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    Well if someone had voted against it, could they have been jailed or fined or somehow punished for supporting gay rights?
  17. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

    Well, this brings up a valid athletic point for discussion.....

    Once a venue has been chosen for a big event such as Sochi's attempt to host the Winter Olympic Games coming up, is it not the responsibility of the athletes, coaches, their families and spectators to research the country, the city, the venue and all the regulations for competition and the laws of the country hosting? It is a lot of work, but is this not part of the necessary preparations?

    Once the research reveals any points of interest to the participants, coaches, families and spectators, is it not the responsibility of the athlete to prepare to COMPETE in those conditions, with the "social" aspects of their participation being a distant secondary consideration? Is it not the responsibility of the visitors to abide by the codes of the country they visit?

    It is the Olympics in Russia. I'm afraid the athletes, coaches, families and spectators are going to have to "take it or leave it."

    It is about priorities for the athletes. Competition comes first. Social issues should be nearly irrelevant as they exist in the venue.

    However, I will not support Russia as a visitor or by buying their products here in the US because of their stance on Gay Rights.

  18. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Do you buy stuff made in China?

    No, seriously, I understand that this is a major issue, but the Olympics were held in Beijing with far less fuss than this, and far more reason to fuss.
    kosjenka and (deleted member) like this.
  19. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    The whole world is in the grip of a multi-tentacled octopus of global politics, socio-economic symbiosis, culture clash, religion, traditions, freedom vs. repression, and on and on. It becomes harder and harder to stay pure and un-compromised in ones beliefs and values.

    Do I oppose China's human rights violations...absolutely! But do I still buy goods made in China...yes...unfortunately. It's hard not to due to the ubiquitousness of the goods. Sure, I hope most of it is from Taiwan and not mainland China, but I know that's probably not the case.

    The same goes for clothing made in the highly unsafe factories in Bangladesh or other third world countries.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is that we're far from having a perfect world. But there are things large and small that we can choose to do; decisions large and small that can make some positive change...that can chip away at the edifice of oppression and injustice around the world.

    I'm not calling for a boycott of Sochi...frankly I don't think that would work or lead to any kind of positive change in the political climate in Russia. As someone mentioned earlier, the real change will have to come from within.

    But strong statements of opposition to this new law by major organizations...both in the political, human rights and sports realms could raised awareness and send a message of support and solidarity to the people within Russia. It would tell them they are not forgotten, they are not alone, and maybe it would give them strength and encouragement to continue the fight for equality for all their people!
  20. PairSk8Fan

    PairSk8Fan Banned Member

    Actually, I do my best to avoid "Made in China" since the early turn-of-the-century when during a spring cleaning, I realized I might as well be living and shopping in China.

    Since then, I do check labels and make different choices. Once in a while an item will get into my purchases "made in China", but this is usually an oversight or an error on my part.

    I do try not to be hypocritical, and I always LOVE responding to the cynical out there who try to point out the hypocritical in EVERYONE.

    Sigh. Yawn. Can we discuss my points regarding PREPARING for COMPETITIONS in different countries and venues?
    manhn and (deleted member) like this.
  21. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I don't think that athletes have the time or obligation to become legal researchers in regard to every country and venue where they compete. A skater in the coming season may compete in up to six foreign countries (say two GP events away from home, qualify for the GPF in a third locale, 4CC or Europeans, Olympics and Worlds...). For American skaters, there is a team leader from USFSA at each event. I assume that part of that job is making skaters and coaches aware of any laws and cultural mores/customs that they must follow while in the country and venue. Federations have bureaucracy to handle such issues while skaters should focus on training and preparation and their other obligations such as work or school.
  22. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    That wasn't the question asked, which I assume was asked because the athletes are high profile and have zero choice about being in Sochi if they want to compete in the Olympics. For spectators, deciding not to go is a far less life-changing option.

    I had an Asian-American co-worker who helped her then boyfriend do a solo sailing-around-the-world competition by being at the re-stock points, including South Africa during apartheid, and she was considered "colored." She said that as long as she stayed in the private boating club area, the segregation rules -- less stringent than those for blacks, but still regularly enforced through most of the country -- did not apply, and a former boss who grew up in Capetown described the same from twenty years earlier. I suspect the enforcement around Sochi will be similarly lax, barring an outward protest, despite the national law in place. :bribe: speaks.

  23. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    A better way to go would be to just fake a terroritst attack. It's in the caucuses! Everyone would believe it! It's still a matter of what is propaganda directed At youth? no one agrees in st petersberg!
  24. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Actually, there a lot of fuss and press regarding China's human rights violations and Tibet. However, the games went on. Still, no venue has matched having the games in Nazi Germany.
  25. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan A proud P/C fan

    I did not know that IOC was a gay rights organisation, as some here are trying to make it out to be. IOC is also consisted of members from eastern world who have far more stronger laws against gay rights. Some encouraged by organisations that are based in countries like US. For instance, proposed Ugandan law that try to punish gays with death penalty was largely a result of US evangelical groups trying to push the law through. Why not these very people campaign against them first, after all they are your fellow countrymen that helped to bring such an evil law.

    Some of these so called laws that are in place in the effort of countries like Britain and France imposing their European Christian values during the colonial era, passing laws that suppressed tolerant and accepted traditions in Hindu and Buddhist countries to their narrow definition of what is morally correct. These people where told for a century what is morally acceptable. Now that the so called western world has seen the light, and taken a 180 degree U tern, you want all the rest of the world perfectly align with your beliefs because you know what is best for rest for the world. Let people of the East on its time and course come to their own conclusion, you took your own time to come to these conclusion, why not they take their own. Sometimes it is possible for every step forward there will be 2 steps backward, but at some point they would come to right conclusion in due course. So called western world did not come to these conclusion over night, you had a movement some times underground that helped break these rigid values. Why not allow rest of the world do the same thing. Please stop 'We know what is best for you attitude', most people will resist being forced feed (even if it is good for them).

    As for Russian human rights record, coming from countries such as US this is rich. A country that started two unnecessary wars that killed hundred of thousands of people. I would call this hypocrisy at its best, one standard for Russia and China, and another for your own country. As I have said before, if human rights are ever a standard no country would be able to hold games ever (may be some Scandinavian countries, but even there in those countries there are some serious issues).
    spikydurian and (deleted member) like this.
  26. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    Because, regardless of how long these laws took to get placed and how long and poor our own nations' histories have been, the main fact is that these laws and attitudes are wrong - I don't believe in tolerance when what I'm tolerating hate. While I agree with the general idea you propose - be the change you want to be in the world - I would hope that the USA would feel comfortable criticizing, say, India for how it handled the spate of sexual violence against women and the poor handling of the justice system in prosecuting culprits. I would hope that if India, instead of imposing stricter penalties on such actions and requiring better handling from the legal system, had passed a law criminalizing the women who were raped (which is analogous to the actions in Russia where the victims are being criminalized), the World would raise holy hell about it (including the USA, despite dealing with a rise in reported sexual assault in the military). And while I recognize that colonialism's consequences can still be felt, I think falling back to that old saw hinders progress (full disclosure: my family comes from East Africa, but not Uganda - I was born in Canada)

    You want me to campaign against evangelical groups for pushing the Ugandan law through? I don't blame you - they're vile and those laws are despicable. But there's a difference between a special interest minority and a government.

    Now, the IOC is in an interesting position because mere politics is not supposed to interfere or limit which countries get them - I have a friend who loved Carter but hated his boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics because of that. I understand that idea and don't expect the IOC to take any stand.

    Finally, why does it bother me to let those countries take their own time? Because the longer it takes, the more damage it does. The more people that get hurt and die unnecessarily. The more people that get imprisoned due to bigotry and hate. How can one be okay with that merely because it happened "here" too?

    I don't come from the USA, and would be curious how many of those actually complaining about this do.
  27. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the timing is significant. After all, when the IOC voted to hold the Olys in Sochi, when athletes decided to try to qualify for the 2014 Olys (and when many spectators bought tickets), this law did not exist. By voting the law in now, Russia got to express its hatred of human rights at a time that is too late to change anything.
  28. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Not likely. Russia has had a poor human rights record under Putin, and the IOC was surely aware of it when it chose Sochi over Pyeongchang and Salzburg in 2007.

    From a Wikipedia article that relies heavily on data from 2007 and the immediately preceding period:


    And, from another Wikipedia page:


    Opposition to Sochi's bid came from, among others, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation, "a significant number of local residents," and Circassians. To my recollection, gay rights groups kept silent, even though Russia's record on gay rights at the time was weak, to say the least.
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I wonder how much :bribe: changed hands to award the Olympics to Russia.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  30. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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