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Olympic Committee Confirms It Will Punish Athletes Who Support LGBT Rights In Russia

The International Olympic Committee has confirmed a fear that has overcome the LGBT and sports communities this month: a provision in the IOC charter that calls for the punishment of athletes who make political or religious displays will be enforced during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When asked if the IOC planned to create a "safe space" of sorts for LGBT and allied athletes, journalists, contractors and other foreigners visiting Russia for the Olympics, officials told Gay Star News, "Regarding your suggestions, the IOC has a clear rule laid out in the Olympic Charter (Rule 50) which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration."

While we're on the subject of rule 50 in the Olympic Charter (which states "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas"), the IOC has confirmed that it will indeed enforce it against displays of support for the LGBT community at the games in Sochi.

"This rule has been in place for many years and applied when necessary," the IOC told GSN. "In any case, the IOC would treat each case individually and take a sensible approach depending on what was said or done."

Gay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup has already pledged, along with other athletes, to show Pride during the Opening Ceremonies by wearing a rainbow pin, a display that now may have him in trouble with Russian authorities and the Olympic Committee. 

Comments

Tim, you were reading the wrong version. The latest version reads this way...

6. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race,
religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic
Movement, but, of course, we will pretend not to notice such discrimination if it occurs against any group we don't feel comfortable allowing in the Olympics in the first place. 

Thanks for nothing, IOC.  This IS Nazi Germany for our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers in Russia.  They ARE being beaten and possibly killed because of their sexual orientation.  This is how it all started in Nazi Germany in the 1930's.  To say otherwise is at best disingenuous to our Russian brothers and sisters.  Boycott!

Then it's isn't figurative Nazi Germany, it could potentially turn into Nazi Germany.

I'm not surprised about this - Russia has gone back to its old ways when Stalin ruled and bullied people into submission - he was Hitler's friend before 'the war' without their friendship agreement in 1939 Hitler would never had dared to attack Belgium, Norway, Holland, France and the British army in France - when the American army handed over the Buchenwahlt concentration camp in 1945 to Russia they reopened it and 'locked away all those who opposed the Communist state and Stalin - many of who had barely survived the Nazi rule where once again in the same camp often guarded by the same 'guards' as they had been during the Nazi regime! Because  the Communists were seen as the true victors of the Second World War 'our' press left this out of their newspapers and headlines - for this Russia got the idea it can't do no wrong and get away with anything!!! And this is the result - they don't give a **** about what others think as they believe if we don't agree with them we are fascist and Nazis! And our dear press just tries to ignore it again - I bet many so called liberal journalists have a horrible time trying to admit that this is going on in Russia! If they would be happening like for example in the US they would be all over it!!!! We should wake our press and confront them with this 'low key' reaction on those crimes against humanity --- by the way I'm not gay I'm just a fellow human being totally upset and horrified by this outrage and I do support all those who want to 'do something' to stop this! We should also focus on other former Communist East European countries where that kind of bigot madness is also going on --- make no mistake this is not new for the former Communist states it is just a return to the old ways! Only then there was a high wall that kept it hidden from us!!!

Where was your outrage when the same Neo-Nazis that are driving this anti-gay sentiment (and pushing the anti-gay laws in the Duma) have been murdering people for the colour of their skin on a daily basis for years now? That's been going on since the early to mid 2000's. Where were the Nazi Germany comparisons then? And why only mention the LGBT people being hurt?

It'd be nice if people weren't only indignant about things that affect their own particular group.

Equality for all, not just those who look like me!

It's not the barring of GLBT insignia or icons that is bothering to me (so long as this is applied equally across all groups), its the punishment of people for simply being gay or lesbian or bisexual that is troublesome. For this reason the US Olympic Committee and the IOC should stand up to Russia on this issue!

I have been on the post about boycotting. But I am mow for boycott. It scares me that you can be punished for being suspected of being gay, for show any sort of support for the LGBT Community. Those those athletes who say we should go and stand up.... They will be punished by Russia and the IOC..... It is despicable that one of the G20 countries, a country of Europe and apart of the UN Can act this way, how in modern society is this tolerated! This is why we must stand united. When other issues arise we must also come together, we must show are support to the gay communities everyone.

Ok, I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I support the cause with every fiber of my being, and I think Russia's new laws are beyond revolting, but I have to point out a couple of things. 1) The IOC has always taken a hard line on political or religious protest of ANY kind, no matter how quiet or non-aggressive. Remember that the Olympics have taken place in many, many countries where there are serious, insane human rights issues (hello China??? Did anyone boycott the Olympics two years ago?) and the IOC didn't allow any protests in any of those places, either. The idea is to put everything - and I mean everything, all cultural and religious and political differences - aside for a couple of weeks so that the world can come together, in peace, for an athletic event that showcases the best of human athletic achievement. Given the vast potential areas of protest and fighting and the potential for rapidly escalating violence, not to mention the huge worldwide platform and massive media attention, I can understand why the IOC takes a hard line on this. This is NOT LGBT discrimination. If you want to call it discrimination, then call it human rights/LGBT/Jewish/Shiite/Sunni/Chechnyan/every single minority group discrimination you can think of. 2) This is supposed to be about the athletes. Athletes who, in many cases, have sacrificed everything you can think of to be at the Games. This isn't a guilt-trip, it's just reality. This is another reason why the IOC doesn't allow any political expression - to keep the focus on the athletes. Disagree with that if you like, but it's a valid priority. I may hate Russian politics, but I'll watch the Olympics, and cheer my heart out, and live inside the hope for two short weeks that someday the world will always be this peaceful.

Well done for putting this into perspective! While I respect the rights of all people of all and every race, religion or gender, sport should not be hijacked and used for making political statements or furthering a cause no matter how valid but should be used for bringing people together. 

"Sport should not be hijacked and used for making political statments or furthering a cause"  HUH?  Why not?  Since when have sports been off the table?  I don't think they are off the table.  The Olympics is a PERFECT opportunity for the world to speak out on a human rights issue. 

Okay I see your point, but what you have to realize is that we cannot simply put away the rights of LGBT people at the Olympics. While the Olympic Committee has banned protests of human rights violations in countries such as China, those were always protests for things happening in separate countries (not every country has the same problems as China). The issue of LGBT people and their rights is an international issue, is present in every country, island, and territory, and affects the whole human race, not just a single country. And during the African-American civil rights movement, black athletes made political statements at the games (raising a fist for Black Power). The LGBT civil rights movement is the civil rights movement of our generation. If people allowed such demonstrations then, they must surely allow demonstrations of signs and symbols of protest from the athletes. We cannot throw away a chance to tell more of the world of what is happening is Russia and the opposition to it from many countries and athletes. An if the Olympic committee really wants to show itself and the games as a symbol of peace in the world, then it should allow protests from the athletes towards what is happening in Russia, especially since most of the countries in the Olympic Games oppose what Russia is doing.

In one paragraph, you state, The idea is to put everything - and I mean everything, all cultural and religious and political differences - aside for a couple of weeks so that the world can come together, in peace

Treating humans beings with dignity and respect should take a back seat to you being entertained?

The whole point of the Olympics is to bring people together to celebrate the spirit of friendly competition. I don't see how that can happen by threatening the freedom and safety of another human being.

My guess is that you are White and heterosexual, and people speaking out gets in the way of your privilege. You couldn't care less about their human rights, so long as you get your fix of living vicariously through others in your imagined utopia.

Hoping accomplishes nothing. Speaking out and acting against injustice insures a better world.

"Treating humans beings with dignity and respect should take a back seat to you being entertained?"
Woah, I think you completely missed the point there.  The Olympics is a place to set aside our differences, and our bigotries, and celebrate the endeavors of the atheletes competing.  That's what he was saying.  The Olympics is not, and should never be, a place to push a political agenda, because then the nature of the entire event becomes changed.  Yes, Russia's laws are horrible and inhuman, and yes they should be fought, but the Olympics is not the place to do it. 

"I don't see how that can happen by threatening the freedom and safety of another human being."

The law in Russia is against promoting a gay lifestyle in the media, so long as the IOC enforces rule 50, then no one is in danger.

"My guess is that you are White and heterosexual, and people speaking out gets in the way of your privilege. You couldn't care less about their human rights, so long as you get your fix of living vicariously through others in your imagined utopia."
Let's refrain from ad hominem attacks shall we?  Especially when they are so wildly speculative.
 

"Hoping accomplishes nothing. Speaking out and acting against injustice insures a better world."
Again, there is a time and a place.  Choose your battles and you come off as a person with a strong idea, not a psycho.

"Yes, Russia's laws are horrible and inhuman, and yes they should be fought, but the Olympics is not the place to do it."
I disagree.  A lot.  The Olympics is the biggest chance we have to make a statement that will be seen the world over.  Nobody needs to pretend that these things aren't happening. Nobody needs to pretend that Syria is not a mess.  Or that Egypt is not a mess.  Or that the United States isn't an imperialist bully.  Or that Russia is not a xenophobic state regressing back toward totalitarianism.  Nobody has to pretend these things aren't happening during the Olympic games simply because the games lovers think the show is all sacred..  B.S.   We can boycott and speak out if we please.  If we want to watch, we can watch our favorite athletes and enjoy watching other competitors do amazing things and speak out against bigotry all at the same time.  Nobody needs to shut up because the IOC deems the games sacred.  That's just ridiculous.

I believe that your points are also valid.  My concern is not so much the punishment of the athletes for being political but for the athletes that are LGBT being punished or imprisoned by the Russian authorities.  So long as the IOC keeps all their athletes safe, this is the main concern. 

It is very true that so many Olympics have been in places where many human rights are at issue.  If you are going to boycott the Olympics now, then you had better be ready to boycott many more. 

I myself am unlikely to watch the Olympics in Russia because I do not agree with Russia's laws, however, the IOC is plainly upholding a law to keep the peace among their athletes and the countries holding their games.

I think your points are excellent.

100% Agree with you on this one. The Olympics are a time when the world is meant to set aside its differences and come together to compete in a respectful and entertaining way; not the time to bring these types of issues to the forefront. The last thing they need would be riots and protests happening during the Olympics in a country where their population have already proven time and time again they aren't afraid to get violent on these matters. The IOC is right in their decision, first because it preserves the nature of the event - that is an elite athletic competition - and doesn't distract from entertainment and peace it brings to neighboring countries and the pride and glory these athletes have sacrificed everything to obtain. Secondly,they are right in this decision because the IOC must represent all the member countries' interest (which are inevitably going to be conflicting) and they aren't the UN or something. They never have, and never should assume the role of enforcing human rights. That's not why the Olympic committee exists. They exist to organize the largest athletic competition in the world and preserve the heritage it came from. The Olympics simply aren't the time and place to fight for human rights in the hosting country, they are the time and place to fight for medals and your country's pride and glory. It would be heinously biased (even if it would be the right thing to do by western morale standards) to tell a country they can't host the Olympics because the Olympic committee doesn't agree with their human rights practices. Unfortunately the world still has conflicting views about Human Rights...but it's not up to the Olympic Committee to create a more unified world in that sense. I think they already do enough in the fact they can even get us to put our differences aside for long enough to enjoy the Olympics.

In that case, I look forward to seeing the Olympics held in Iran. Won't happen though, most countries would, and quite rightfully, boycott such, just like the US did 1980's Moscow Olympics...China got the bid 2008 'cos of this thing called Money...

Devil's advocate?  Try "dyed in the wool". The games are about athletes, correct.  Many of whom are GAY and wish to speak out as they are able to do in their own countries (such as the skater from New Zealand).  They speak out to give a voice to LBGT people in countries, such as Russia, where they cannot speak for themselves.  It is about letting them know that they are not alone, and they are on the right side of history.  It sounds to me like you should consider rethinking this. 

it isn't just the IOC or Russia, it's also the sponser's i bet they are already pressing hard on the coaches to make sure that a gay athlete doesn't walk around with a rainbow pin, or says in front of the camera ''i would like to thank my dearest husband for supporting me'' ecetra, and yeah i know for a fact that big brand names do not whant there brands to be asociated with anything gay, i know from a docu that ther is this dutch lesbian who hold lesbo beachparty's she CANNOT get brands like L'oreal, phillips or whatever to sponser her beachparty's simply because it is a lesbo beachparty.

http://www.olympic.org/sponsors To the Sponsors of the IOC ask that you withdraw your support I don't want to associate you with oppression please help by not supporting the IOC I don't really need to point out why do I ?

This is not political propaganda, this is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. WTF?

Well IOC I'm going to boycott all your crap from now on until this is sorted. you have lost me buying any merchandise relating to you.

If only some big name supporters would withdraw their support for the IOC do they have Sponsers ?.. Dare I dream ?

well well, 

http://www.horreursmusicales.fr/

For all those who think that we are simply poking our noses in the Russians' business: http://youtu.be/H4gyZWlZm7o 

This is the CNN of the former sovyet union - everyone in that part of the world watches this news channel (I am a Russian speaking Latvian, so I know). This person is the head of Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting. And he says (to an applauding audience) that gay people “should be banned from donating blood, sperm; their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life.”

I don't think this is about pink feather boas and skimpy outfits anymore. Wake the f*** up.

You are correct.  If an athlete chooses to sit silent while their counterparts in other nations are beat up, then they have that right. But, many of them are gay, and should have the same right to speak on behalf of people, who cannot speak for themselves, as they do in their own countries.

It is often not the people doing the crime we remember, as much as those who sit silently and allow it.  If they  chose, they should have the right to wear a simple pin.  What is Russia so scared of if they are proud of their stance? 

I guess the question to ask of the IOC is whether they would be as equally enthusiastic about taking stern measures against Russia in the event of anyone involved in the Olympics being discriminated against or being threatened or intimidated.

The IOC does have a history of having a hard line against protests, and you can see their point when they have a flagship international event that anyone in their right might would want to use as a platform if they could. The balance has to be that they are equally firm in ensuring that the Games are a place where everyone involved, from spectators to competitors, are absolutely assured of their safety from the host country and everyone else at the event.

"Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration."

What about Jesse Owens and Adolf Hitler?

This clause was the direct response to the 1968 award ceremony in which Tommie Smith and John Carlos made the "Black Power salute" to protest racial discrimination in the US. Therefore, Hitler's use of the 1936 Olympics to showcase the "New Germany" is moot to this discussion. The best way to protest the current and rampant anti-gay discrimination in Russia is to boycott the games. Too bad that the US has already boycotted them the last time they were held in there.

 You mean post-war propaganda made by liberals? he didn't exactly parade for equality either, he was seen as a subhuman back in the US of A, while Hitler and Germans applauded him.

Thank you. I didn't know that until your comment forced me to research more about Jesse Owens. It's so true. Jesse Owens faced discrimination in the USA, not Nazi Germany. In his own words, "Hitler didn't snub me – it was FDR who snubbed me."

You're a moron.  I won't give you any more of a dignified response.  That is all you deserve. 

Let's get some things straight... This is not a new Holocaust, yet. However, people have a reason to draw a comparison between pre-Holocaust Germany and current Russia. There are new laws single out one group for simply being. People connected to the government are making statement about preventing the LGBTQ community from being blood and sperm donors, and burying or burning their hearts after death because they are viable for giving life (Google it, you don't believe me). Also, I hate to break it to so many of you, but it wasn't just six million Jews (some of whom I was related to), but about another 6 million people beside who died in the Holocaust. Those people were homosexuals, gypsies, twins, people with physical and mental abnormalities, anyone Hitler and the Nazis deemed uncleaned and/or worth experimenting on.My point is Hitler started with the Jews, Putin may be starting with the LGBTQ community. Need more proof? Replace every instance of gay in the article with Jew and see how you would feel: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57588738/russian-anti-gay-bill-passes-protesters-detained/.

This isn't about forces my politics on you, or asking your church to perform a ceremony that goes against it's teachings. This is about basic human rights and dignity. Legal marriages should not be part of the church. If your country does not have a separation of church and state, fine. However, that doesn't mean you should make laws condoning the ostracizing and harming of people just for being who they are. If Russia wants to host the Olympic games, or any country does for that matter, it should keep in mind Rule 2 of the IOC charter "The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.​"

Seriously though, the problems in Russia go beyond hosting the Olympics there, and how well athletes and others may be treated. We are in an age where the world is becoming more and more connected. We can no longer say, We don't know what's going in in that far away place over there. Even with the information many governments had on Hitler, it was ignored because it was Germany's problem. But look what happened. Even if, Putin doesn't have world conquering plans, the people of the world need to let him and his government know that he doesn't have a right to do this, even to his own people.

Sorry - but Hitler didn't start with the Jews! When he was elected in 1933 and the Nazi opened their first 'camp' they arrested people who opposed them AND gay men! Latter he started to send Jews to camps and latter during the war he started to operate the famous gas chambers --- he did from 1933 created laws that ban Jews from any social activity and work places. They couldn't visit public parks schools of non-Jews etc. but he didn't send them first to camps! The main reason he didn't start with the Jews was that he wanted to 'sooth' people into his bigot state and international community. By sending communists to camps he didn't cause a panic as everyone was afraid of Stalin and his wish to spread the communist system. After all Russia had tried to invade Poland in the 1920s and it was only thanks to the Polish army resistance that they pulled back. By arresting gay men he didn't case a problem either as in most countries gays were send to jails anyway! But to explain why he had to arrest Jews just for being Jews was a different matter, also the American Jews had staged a boycot of German goods after Hitler started to introduce his anti-Jews laws. But with the war he could 'blame the Jews' as according to his 'politics' Jews were responsible for the war as they wanted to destroy Germany --- so he pretended they were traitors and it was his duty to remove them from society to protect the German people ---- SO THIS ATTACK ON GAYS in Russia should not be seen as a possible start to something even worse - its it the same way it started in Nazi Germany!!!!

In 2008, Obama adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski compares Putin to Hitler​ for its attack on Georgia (link to article).  Now he passes anti-LGBT law.  This is pretty bad

The holocaust started gradually, with a slow but steady stripping away of human rights. That ultimately led to the murder of six million people, which is an extremity I hope is never repeated. It's the stripping away of people's rights which also takes away their humanity in the eyes of their persecutors, which makes it easy to victimize, torture, and kill them. Some of this is already happening in Russia to gay people.

This is why any time you see a group of people having their rights taken away you should shout about it, even if you don't like the group, to prevent anything like that happening ever again. 

Oy vey, you're right! This is like a whole 'nodder Shoah!

Russia is a nice country where they are fighting hard for equality and peace.

SAID NO ONE EVER.

Fucking branch off and float away from Europe. Worthless fcking country with sketchy people and corrupt goverment spreading lies and hating on minorities for no reason. I do NOT understand how other peoples SEXUAL PREFERENCES are any of YOUR BUSINESS. There are NO arguments that can be put down on paper to JUSTIFY why you are allowed to hate a specific group of people that exist NATURALLY.

Just, grow up already.

Well, you're surprisingly bigoted for such progressive views on homosexuality and human rights.

Russian laws are not written by 'the Russian people' as a whole, and there's no reason to blame us for the government's incompetence and backwardness, let alone discriminate against us just because we happened to be born in that 'worthless' country. Yes, we're not as progressive as the West wants us to be, but many people try to catch up and calling us 'sketchy' won't speed the process up.

I agree that our laws are corrupt and ridiculous, sometimes brutal and discriminative. But boycotting the Olympics would NOT make anything better, only worse – it will give our government yet another opportunity to point out how the West is unjust to us and wants Russia to fail completely. And it will provoke Putin to come up with a few more similar laws and double his effort in cracking down on minorities. The Olympics could (or could not) change some things for better (and not only in Russia), so please give them a go… 

You are very prejudiced and simply rude. I am Russian, and I support gay rights. My Russian friends and family are all good decent people, well educated and very liberal. And we all are very concern about everything that is happening in Russia right now, especially about those awful anti-gay laws. I am openly bisexual and have many friends in the gay community. There is no denying that there are many homophobes in Russia, and people are simply not educated well enough on this subject. But it is just one of many problems in Russia.

Russia is ruled by terrible people and it is very hard to change anything. It is easy for you to judge, if you live in a nice democratic first world country. But Russian reality is very different. And still, if you stop judging the book by its cover and make an honest attempt to look at Russia outside your TV or computer screen, you'll see that people there are exactly the same as everywhere else. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. There are criminals, corrupt politicians, oppressors, homophobes. But there are also many brilliant people, friendly and hospitable, with modern values and a hope for better future. So don't you dare saying that Russia is worthless!

Russia isn't worthless - but I feel more Russian should stand up and say they can't accept this kind of brutal behaviour - many over here feel that too many Russian don't speak out against it and that is I believe doing the damage that people start to see Russia as a 'bad country' - you should try to make clear that you don't stand for this! It would help a lot of people in your country and it would help a lot those who are now the victim of should bigot behaviour!

I cannot vouch for other people. I can only vouch for myself. I guess I can only ask international community to be more open minded and less prejudiced. Things are not that simple. Russia has a more traditional culture, and people's opinion on a sensitive subject, such as this one, are often based not on fear and hatred, but simply are a reflection of their background and of how they were brought up. For example, the so called "anti-gay law" is really a law, that prohibits gay propaganda to minors. Even though it sounds awful and gives room to misuse, the motivation behind this law is understandable. Many Russian parents are concerned that their children are too exposed to sexual content and other adult themes. They feel that the subject of homosexuality is somewhat indecent. So this law was just a way for Putin to throw them a bone.

Obviously I think that homophobia in Russia and the disregard for gay rights are a serious issue. But I feel that the conflict we got today has been somewhat blown out of proportion. The subject is so sensitive and controversial, that many people just succumb to hysteria​. The Internet is full of groundless rumors, poor translations and quotes taken out of contects. It is important to keep a cool head and try too see all aspects of this subject clearly.

You should also remember that there is a huge language and cultural barrier between Russia and western countries. Russian press is heavily censored and full of Putin's propaganda. So things you read in your newspapers are not the same to what Russians know or how they see it. Also, very few Russians speak English and can get engaged in a serious conversation with international community. Which I guess makes it look like Russians just don't care.

It is also important to mention, that it is very hard to be politically active in Russia and stand up for something. People are constantly being persecuted for political reasons in Russia, even for something they wrote in their blog. Still, many Russians are active online and not afraid to speak their mind, but the most loud and influential activists get shut down fairly quickly.

You just cannot judge the whole nation because the government is rotten. Hate doesn't help. But I have to agree with some of you, the situation in Russia is really worrying, and we can't close our eyes of it. Hell do I know, but I live in Finland and I am a bit worried about what stupid they might do. There has happened a lot in Soviet Union and later Russia in let's say - fifty years, but I DO NOT DEFEND THEM BELIEVE ME, because this is as you all say, a human right matter. But this whole olympics thing really pisses me off. Olympics should be an honorful, merry, big sport event to unite people, and this is what they do of it.

Fundamental Principles of Olympism #6, verbatim from the IOC olympic charter:
"Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, 
religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic 
Movement."

Unless large amounts of money are involved, in which case the IOC doesn't really care about discrimination or fair treatment of even it's athletes.

I am sorry to anyone who doesn't like it but I wouldn't like it if other countries were coming into my country and spewing protests because they don't like our laws which are a reflection of our beliefs. Russia deserves to have the olympics because they won the bid just like many countries have before and many countries will in the future. I don't support Russia's anti-homosexual laws but the rest of the world shouldn't be going into their country and telling them what to do. We are making the olympics into a political issue when it isn't. The IOC is getting it right. They aren't in favour of homosexal discrimination but they realize that it isn't the job of foreigners to dictate the laws in Russia. If you don't want to be somewhere because of what the people believe in, don't go. It isn't your job to make the Russians change. The world is moving forward - we might take a couple of steps back along the way as Russia is doing but it will change. Maybe not in our lifetime, but it will. By starting protests the only thing that will result will be further dislike toward homosexuals by Russians because people can't respect their beliefs. The laws of a country are like the laws of a religion. The people believe in them and the people are not going to change if you start protesting against them. We didn't protest when the olympics were in China - they are a communist state that suppresses people's rights in a manner that is similar to the suppression of gay rights in Russia. We did the right thing in that situation by going to that country and respecting their laws while we were there even if we don't agree with them. The same should be done in Russia

Hosting the Olympics is not a right, anymore than participating is a right. It is a privilege, you must qualify.

Fundamental Principles of Olympism #6, verbatim from the IOC olympic charter:
"Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, 
religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic 
Movement." - See more at: http://instinctmagazine.com/post/olympic-committee-confirms-it-will-punish-athletes-who-support-lgbt-rights-russia#sthash.Rcpu84Ou.dpuf

Russia doesn't qualify.

If you don't like a country's cuisine, language, daily cultural aspects and such things (i.e. the "local flavor"), then it's perfectly alright to just stay clear of the place without trying to tell them to change more towards what you'd prefer. It's the polite thing to do: accept some places aren't to your liking and just live and let others live as they please.

However, when a country tramples on essential human rights, that's not just a matter of differing tastes. Russia will probably just do as they like on the matter this time around but if no one ever steps up to the plate to say that they are acting in a fascist manner, then the world is just giving them a free ticket to kick the next poor group or minority around in the future. I believe change does happen over time... but I don't believe it's automatic and that it shouldn't be kept actively moving in the right direction with protesting and speaking our mind.

You say that "We are making the Olympics into a political issue when it isn't."... But it is! Countries bid to host it fundamentally for political reasons, to display themselves to the rest of the world and to obtain international acceptance. It has to be made clear, that that acceptance comes with obligation  to live up to the trust they've been granted. 

You would do well to read Stephen Fry's letter to David Cameron. It's not about telling a country how to believe. It's about preventing another Hitler! Same ingredients just a different dictator and group to discriminate! Don't pass this off as light hearted or just an innocent country and it's beliefs! I'm sure Jews are grateful of the worlds intervention! Let's not repeat history by ignoring this hey?

"political, religious or racial propaganda"

Being gay is not any of those things, and those stating that it is are trying to make it political.  It's just your sexual identity - we wouldn't need to complain about it at any other games.

@DUDE

"straight people do not flaunt being straight"...Seriously? what world are YOU living in?

@DUDE Straight people DO flaunt it. We need to get away from this prehistoric thinking... You see it more regularly so its normal. PAY ATTENTION next time you go out and tell me that straight people don't flaunt it. Facebook photos, statuses, PDA just to name a few. Also Straight people don't have to fight daily for something that is natural. Given freely. Yes Russia has a right to have what ever laws they want. However, the Olympics have been a common meeting ground of all nationalities to remove all barriers and compete on a level playing field. To showcase individual and national talent. This has nothing to do with showcasing talents but infringes on the basic rights we have as humans. The decisions of Russia disturbs me and the recent decision of the IOC doesn't make me feel any better. Take a giant step back in evolution. Shame. :( 

Dude,straight people aren't hung from trees either but gays are what safe white man world are you living in?

Seriously?  When's the last time a gay person was lynched?  SERIOUSLY!?

Seriously if you want to know when the last gay person was lynched - check Iran for one and I'm sure you may find a few African countries too who do the same! And gay persons often fall victim to brutal attacks on most countries I'm afraid By the way I'm not a gay person but I do hate people being hurt just because someone isn't thinking normal and can't deal with people being different!!!!

You mean Gaybashed? Weekly? 

August 11.  

http://www.examiner.com/article/dwayne-jones-murdered-16-year-old-murdered-jamaica-for-being-gay

Actually a young gay lad was killed in Russia just over a week ago and numerous stories of torture have surfaced recently. Haven't seen any stories of young straight lads getting tortured for being straight recently!

Been to Russia lately?

Lynched? No. But there have been multiple examples of gay people being severely hurt or killed because of their sexual orientation. There are examples in every newspaper of every major city. Look it up and get educated.

A Straight Gay Rights Supporter

July 21. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/25/dwayne-jones-cross-dressing-jamaican-stabbed_n_3652665.html

And that's only if you count gruesome murders by a mob as lynching.  If you count any time that a group of people physically harm someone for being gay or being suspected of being gay, then the last time would statistically be when you started reading this comment.

Matthew Sheppard comes to mind.  Beatings of people on the streets of any major city as well

This is absolutely appalling - LGBT rights are not an issue of politics, but one of basic fundamental human rights - something which the IOC charter claims to support. The IOC saying that the Olympics is not the place to have such protests would be fair enough if they had actually upheld the charter and ensured that host countries weren't giving people a need to protest.

Olympic Charter (Rule 50) which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration."

My perspective is that this rule was designed to train people to shut up and eat their bribes. Since athletes are role models for children this Rule 50 is a powerful strategy to teach people not to practice righteous indignation if you want your "prize" in society.

Consider this: Russia and the IOC planned this whole scenario a long time ago because having athletes swallow their pride is a great propaganda lesson in substituting human dignity for obedience. Do you really think Russian politicians suddenly care about spending their budget money on policing gays? No this is all theatrics.

Athletes I say FUCK the IOC, FUCK this Olympic Rule and FUCK this inhumane law! Turn up at the Olympics, win Gold, show your pride on the podium and then let them take their piss colored prize off you. Such beautiful displays of human dignity are way more valuable than a golden prize from a bunch of fascists ass kissers! ;-)

I just don't get some of the comments on this site, saying homosexuals shouldn't put their issues out in the open all the time. "If I was homosexual, i would be embarrassed about it..."...really now? You know, the first thing that came to my mind when I read the first article about whats happening to LGBT ppl in russia was "This is kind of a new holocaust". Should Jews be embarrassed about what happened to them back in the day? Should they just shut up about it? Everything was perfectly fine back then right...right?! No. No, thats not true. And I just don't get how people fail to see that...not only narrow minded idiots, but also educated humans in political positions. Why do they fail to see whats happening in Russia? Why do they choose to close their eyes and look away instead of actually trying to help? I am really embarrassed...for everyone who just isn't ready to see these crimes against humans as what they actually are.

"This is kind of a new holocaust" homos and lesbians were treated as severe mental cases everywhere in the world, including the USA, until very very recently. Especially in communist countries where they'd sent them directly in jail. What's funny about your idiotic statement is that nazis actually promoted homosexuality, but only amongst the conquered Poles, not themselves.

 "for everyone who just isn't ready to see these crimes against humans as what they actually are" still happening in the Middle East, I don't see Obama blocking off trade relations with those countries, or muslim immigrants. I don't see you bitching about millions of children being killed in abortion clinics either.

 How exactly is something not promoting something unnatural against humans? How exactly are your "gay rights" 100% correct and fair to society on a whole? How exactly is forcing churches to perform gay "marriages" OK, especially when the Bible(thus their religious beliefs) condemns it?(not to mention doing the same in foreign countries) I'd call you a socialist prick but even the socialists would send you to jail. Who are you to judge millions of years of evolution and say it's wrong? You're just sick in the head, case closed.

You douche! Most people disagree with you and you're a narrow-minded asshole. You compare killing LGBT to abortion clinics?  Wow!

You don't even qualify to speak to a small minority, barely yourself, since I don't even consider you mentally able jugding by your half-assed reply, and you're talking for "most people", yet I'm the douche? Yes, I'm comparing "killing" LGBT, which isn't happening, and which he/she/it bitches about, to the killing of millions of kids, every year, in America alone, which doesn't seem to bother any of your gay supremacists, of course, since besides having unnatural relations, you don't care about real problems, like the animalistic freaks you are. Wow, indeed.

Oof, the dude that put it in your ass must've been super-rude during pillow talk.

Seriously, how long did it take to get to the holocaust? Every argument about being treated inhumanly gets referred to the holocaust and its completely disrespectful and shows you don't truly understand what happened. You are not being exterminated, You are not witnessing unimaginable cruelty and you are not being used and human guinea pigs. You need to grow up.

If you take a look at the run up to Hitler doing all of those sick and twisted things you will see it is very similar to what Putin is doing now. Only this time people want to be proactive and prevent it going as far as that. Or we can choose to ignore it and make out nothing is happening just like they did in the 30's n 40's! If this is the type of world you want to live in that is!

@ "This is kind of a new holocaust"

Really, it is not. Discrimination is terrible, but exterminating SIX MILLION PEOPLE is indescribably worse. Please, your remarks do not do justice to the suffering of the victims of the holocaust and I hope you will realize this.

First off, more than 6 million were killed.  That is only the count for Jews.  Double it and you will be closer.  Gays, gypsies, people with mental and/or physical disabilities were also killed by Hitler and his goons, but you rarely hear that mentioned.

Second, anyone who is a real student of history knows that this is very close to how it started in Germany in the early 1930s.  Goons were allowed to destroy shops, beat up members of the Jewish communities, while the police looked on without taking action.  Or if they did, it was against the party being beaten and/or stolen from for everything from false claims to making a nuisance.

Putin is a student of history and knows the best way to start is to pick a group of individuals who, in his own country, won't have too many people coming to their aid.  Some because they don't like gays, some because they still have the old mindset that it is a chosen lifestyle that is a sin in their own religious or personal beliefs, some because they are justifiably afraid for their own lives and/or livelihood.

While I don't believe in the Olympics being used as a political forum, simply wearing a rainbow pin is not holding up their fists upon winning a medal.  Being gay isn't a political or religious point of view.  It is the same as if all blacks/asians/women were prevented from participating.

"Really, it is not. Discrimination is terrible, but exterminating SIX MILLION PEOPLE is indescribably worse. Please, your remarks do not do justice to the suffering of the victims of the holocaust and I hope you will realize this."

 Actually according to your holohaux myth, jews, gays and gypsies suffered the same. Of course in real life Hitler had both jews and gays, in the tens of thousands, in the state apparatus, including the army. But jews, like you, are so greedy that they won't even share the benefits produced by the lolocaust industries with the gays and gypsies. It might also suprise you that during World War 2 the S-I-X M-I-L-L-I-ON!!!111\o/ jews you're fabulating about were just a small % of all the casualties.

Perfectly said!

I support every word you say

Most of the borderline nazi comments here are insane. Gay people need to be as loud as possible as tgey are being raped murdered tortured and imprisoned for their private decisions if they stay quiet they remain prosecuted. Im sure as soon as being gay is not seen as much of an issue people will stop shouting it at the top of their lungs. Much like women's rights and black rights activists in the west, tge rhetoric changes.

 Your comment isn't even borderline retarded, it's full retarded. Do you morons ever read history? or just scream "nazi" because everybody can bash upon it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2zikCUPPxw

i don't think many of you are understanding this. Its not about parading about "our sex lives" (I mean who does that anyway?) - its about putting human rights, before prejudice. Putin has ruled against gay people. Is that okay? did we think it was okay when Hitler was against Jews? just because we aren't Jewish, does a Jewish person not have the right to do Jewish things? Lets face it, the reason there is homophobia is because we think about sex. "how people have sex". Surely therefore people like Putin, are more scared that they cannot stop thinking about those two guys fucking? that's a question that I would ask of all those on here who say "look, i have no problem with gays....but". If you genuinely think we should stand silently as Putin and his mob of biggoted fools, terrorize a group of people merely because of their sexual preference then lets go backwards, lets have a partied, lets revisit slave ships, lets experiment on people with deformities. ITS WRONG. gay/straight/bi/trans. whatever, discrimination, is... a Crime. Whether you salute with pride, or cannot stop thinking about what two people do in bed, its wrong to stop people from being free. 

B-b-b-but they keep pushing their gayness in my face! All the time! Everywhere I go...gay this, gay that.  Grown men in pink, frilly panties....they're all up in my face pushing their gay sex down my throat.  I just don't like it.  It's too much for me to handle, it's too different, it's too much freedom.

This is America, but when you push your agenda down other peoples' throats( I and others can't really make a case for this argument in any reasonable way because our argument is solely based on a biased point of view stemming from fear, ignorance, anger and hatred - you know everything Jesus WASN'T about ) then you lose your right to fight for freedoms of a maligned and subjugated group of American citizens. Makes sense to me.

It took me one sentence to realize you were being sarcastic; there's hope for the world yet.

You are such an unbelievably ignorant tool! Not only is your mind so narrow that your perception of gay people is that of the mannerism camp! Not only does this not apply to all gay people of the world, myself included, straight men can also display this mannerism.

What about all of the heterosexual crap all over? Sex scenes in movies, magazines, reality TV? Again you say gay people shove this down your throat. You refer to the portion of the population who do overly exhibit it. This also applies to heterosexuals too and again... NOT all! Reverse your argument and read it as someone saying straight people have too many freedoms and shouldn't walk around flaunting it and should have less rights! Do you like that? Also as for wearing pink and frilly panties I think you are referring to transvestites which also is not a homosexual thing! Stright men also can be transvestites. The trouble with alot of the ignorant bigoted people in this world is like you they label gays and apply a lot of labels to us that don't apply. Yes granted some gay people might fit into these other labels but that isn't because they are gay, that's a whole different aspect of their personality.

So please do yourself a favour and open your mind and maybe you won't sound like such a dumbass in future!

Pushing gayness down your throat?  Frilly panties?  LOL!  Last I checked "straightness" was being pushed down my throat.  Everywhere I look...Straights!  People in Northface Jackets!  Everywhere!  OMG!!!  Grow the fuck up!

Really? Gay men in pink panties pushing their sex down my throat ?

jeez man where do you hang out? I I need to go there.

"Everywhere I go...gay this, gay that.  Grown men in pink, frilly panties....they're all up in my face pushing their gay sex down my throat"

Er, where the Hell are you going exactly???? Is this a real comment? Hmmm?

If so then erm...gosh! Would you care to give some examples? It sounds suspiciously like you have just made all that up in your tiny little brain to convince yourself that you are the victim of something-or-other(?) and you therefore have a right to go out fag bashing...and where will that end ni*gers, women? etc.

Look away then..it's that easy...

Pushing an agenda down somebodys throat? And thats not what the straight community has been doing since forever? Take a look around you and imagine how you would interpret the world if you were gay.  Is it ok to do it aslong as a majority considers it ok, but when a minority does, it suddenly becomes offensive? 

It had to read this comment three times before realizing it's a parody.

Why can't people just respect the rules of the land they are venturing? If they can't then they should not participate in the olympics. I wish all these LGBT supporters would just die quietly in a corner

For pete's sake... Would you firstly make the connection that its the very fact that putin has segregated a populus of his country because of how they were born and now live and that he is encouraging brutality via neglegence for unsolicited reasons that is getting the world ( &lbgt folk up in arms) not specifically the olympics taking place....
However given the games are taking place has just firmly put the microscope on russias politics and is now making a very clear example of them and how the modern world deals with such issues....
NO we wont just curl up and die in a corner so you do t have to be slightly inconvienienced by it. How about you squat up on your facts, engage brain and realise that just ignoring a problem wont solve it !
I think u'd be pretty pissed if you were criminalised for somthing such as the colour of your eyes ? ( sounds daft doesnt it?)

It's about standing up for human rights.  I would advise you to read this before you make anymore outlandish comments:

http://www.stephenfry.com/2013/08/07/an-open-letter-to-david-cameron-and-the-ioc/

Standing up for human rights...what about the rights of our kids to not have to see this crap everywhere they go? What about our rights as Christians to not have to cater to everything that they want? They can spew hate but the moment that someone stands up for their beliefs and their rights what happens? we are labled biggots...homophobs...and any other cruel word out there...grow up...we don't HAVE to support you...we don't HAVE to condone what you do...we don't HAVE to accept you!

What about the rights of your kids to grow up without discrimination, alienation, or abuse? That one's nice, isnt it? Well unfortunately if your kid is gay, most likely that isnt going to be the case. And I'm sure you couldnt fathom your child being gay, but thats the thinking thats going to make him or her suffer and resent your narrow-minded thinking.
And unfortunately, being Christian gives you no special rights. I think it was the Crusades that effectively proved to the modern world such an idea is abysmal.

Yea and what about gay people's kids not having to have their parents discriminated and beaten? The whole world doesn't revolve around your bible and not everyone is religious. I don't try and say you shouldn't go to church because god doesn't exist therefore don't tell be I cannot live my lifestyle and do so with the basic human rights. Understand the discrimination instead of hiding behind your ignorance and man made bible!

LOL, mouth breathing mental midgets like you are ALWAYS good for a laugh.  Thanks for the funny, Cleetus!!

I agree with the Olympic Committee. Don't hate anyone but really tired of people pushing their sex life into everything they do. Haven't there always been gays in the Olympics? And haven't they always been treated like everyone else? Why does everything always have to be about homosexuals? If I were a homo I'd be embarrassed by the vanity that struts about in my name.

I am reminded of the way we all felt about sporting events in apartheid South Africa... I am straight, but I still feel that Russia is a barbaric and dangerous place that has gone too far.  This isn't about gays, this IS about the freedom to be what you are, without fear of state sponsored terror.  

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

...and there is something of the 'Nazi', about all of this...

 Communists imprisoned gays. Besides invading other countries(like America is doing now), bombing and killing entire social classes(like America is doing now), and imposing their political system by force(like America is doing now). 

 Yes, there is something to do with the German's workers' party about all this... you're a moron.

 First they came for the right wing, I did not speak out because I was part of the right wing(the Silver Legion of America, British Union of Fascists and many others).

 Then they came out for the Christians, I did not speak out because I wasn't a Christian.

 Then they came out for the conservatives and Europeans, I did not speak out because I wasn't a conservative or European.

 Then they came out for me because I didn't support liberal extremist ideas of destroying everything and every value in which the real world was made(not some socialist-communist bs that couldn't even last little more than half century even in a conservative form), and there was nobody left to oppose them.

...and there is something of the "liberal trash" about all of this...

Imagine an athlete wins a gold medal in her field and when the press comes to interview her, she thanks her wife for the support she has given her during all the hard training. Imagine that athlete being arrested for flaunting her lifestyle on international media.

This is not an issue of pushing anyones sex lives on anyone else. It's about equal human rights. Right to love and right to speak up about that love. Gay athletes should have an equal right to that.

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