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President Obama: "Nobody's More Offended Than Me" By Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

During a presidential press conference held moments ago to reveal more transparency in national security initiatives, President Obama spoke at length about his feelings on Russia's anti-gay environment.

"It is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia's going, what are core interests are and calibrate the relationship so that we're doing things that are good for the United States and, hopefully, good for Russia as well."

"I want to just make very clear right now, I do not think it's appropriate to boycott the Olympics. We've got a bunch of Americans out there who are training hard who are doing everything they can to succeed. Nobody's more offended than me by some of the anti gay and lesbian legislation we've been seeing in Russia. I've spoken out, not just in respect to Russia, but a number of other countries where we have a strong disagreement on this issue. One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay or lesbian athletes bringing home the gold, silver or bronze, which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there. If Russia doesn't have gay or lesbian athletes, then it would probably make their team weaker."

"Our decision to not participate in the Summit was not simply around Mr. Snowden; it had to do with the fact that, frankly, on a whole range of issues where we think we can make some progress, Russia has not moved."

We'll have video up of today's presser when it arrives.

Comments

Indeed, our athletes - gay and not-gay - are training hard to win in their sports events in the winter Olympic Games.  That is not the issue.  The issue is participating in an event in a country that blatantly and proudly abuses human beings because they are gay tacitly accepts that abuse.  The issue is that we tell those abused humans that hard training to win sports events is valued more highly than those abused humans' Human Rights and more than their lives.  The issue is that the nations who participate in the Olympic Games and those who televise the Games are conduits of millions of dollars to Russia - essentially rewarding Russia: a nation that values power over others more than it values the ideals of socialism and equality and freedom.  Let all nations of conscience choose to withdraw from participation in the Olympic Games! Let all nations of conscience demand that Russia stop persecuting and criminalizing LGBT people, and economically boycott Russia until it does!

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