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Brian Boitano Speaks Out On His Decision To Come Out As Gay

Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Brian Boitano speaks with Today's Matt Lauer on his decision to publicly come out and his upcoming role as a member of the U.S. Olympic delegation in Sochi, Russia. Watch!

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From Today

“When the president named the delegation, and I read in the news what his message was of tolerance and diversity, I thought, I have to take this opportunity,’’ Boitano told Matt Lauer on TODAY Thursday. “I think the message is so strong. I’ve always wanted to represent my country as best I could, and I knew that I had to go past my comfort zone and reveal a private side of my life that I’ve never done before because I felt that the message is so strong.”

Boitano believes just being part of the delegation speaks volumes when it comes to Russia’s anti-gay law. 

Thoughts on Boitano's comments, Instincters? 


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I strongly believe countries should have banned Russia for their anti-human rights law that passed in total agreement (no vote against). Not attending the games in their territory could be a step to protest against atrocities done to gay people there, which are encouraged by that hateful law. Are we in 2014 or what?!??!!! 

I'm sorry to read Heather's misinformed view of the situation. This is not a religious viewpoint that's  being criticized  here but a law which forbids people from expressing who they are and by acknowledging their sexuality Russians are open to ridicule,beatings and murder. Heather while the church in Russia would like homosexuality to be unlawful, it was the Russian Government that brought this about as it's population is in decline. This worries Putin with neighbours such as China and further India succeeding in World markets! It's hard to be tolerant when you see the beatings many Gay People are enduring not because of their choice Heather but because of who they are!

It is unseemly to hear Brian speak about tolerance and diversity when he fails to embody these traits himself. Russia is a culture different from ours which holds traditional and conservative values tried and tested through hundreds of years and linked to their Orthodox faith history. They believe children should be sheltered from the gay rights agenda. There is nothing wrong with that. Brian should embrace the Russian view as equally valid to his if he values diversity and tolerance. So should the media. It is regrettable that the media has been wholly one sided in its discussion of gay marriage and similar issues when tens of millions of Americans hold other, equally valid and well thought out views. Trying to label everyone who disagrees with you as a "bigot" or "hater" or "homophobe", as the media does, really is an indication that "propaganda" and "intimidation" is what is going on, not an intelligent, balanced, fair discussion of fact and opinion. The media should give equal space, equal consideration, and equal respect to the opinions of those whose views are based on traditional and religious values as they have to those who seek to advance the gay agenda.

Heather is falling back on the old argument that if one wants to be tolerated they should tolerate.  Sorry Heather - that argument wore out years ago and your using it shows that you've come up with nothing better.  

Bottom line is that anything that affects basic human rights should not be tolerated.  The laws of Russia are doing just that. Further, those who have been marginalized should not be satisfied with tolerance until it becomes acceptance 

Also Heather, I believe it was Edward R. Murrow who said, "Sometimes there's only one side to a story." The "against" side in the Marriage Equality movement is just hateful, un-informed, anti-American, bigotry, pure & simple.

Gay & Lesbian people getting married does NOTHING to straight couples.  It has zero affect on children. It doesn't do any of the ludicrous things those who believe they should keep special rights and privileges, because of the gender of those they love, to themselves. I has nothing to do with bestiality, nor has it anything to do with paedophilia, because it's about relationships between consenting adults.

Russia has enacted hateful, monstrous laws which punish people for existing. They are encouraging people to turn in their children, their siblings, & friends.  This isn't just a different perspective, it's a genocidal move. If you think what they're doing sounds reasonable, you're, at the very least, a bigot.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments. It sounds like your concern is that children of gay/lesbian parents may be taken away from them by the Russian government. If that is the case, you will get farther in making a change to Russian law by recognizing cultural differences and by accepting that, generally speaking, children's minds and hearts should be sheltered from the gay rights controversy. Then you can make a limited (targeted) argument to specifically address the rare situation of gay/lesbian parents. Your argument can be that the innate right of a parent to love and be with their own child trumps other considerations. If your true motive is concern for the welfare of children and not self-promotion, I think you will find this advice helpful.

Oh Please Heather... Its not a "gay agenda" it's a basic human rights issue. No one should be demonized, ridiculed, or sheltered from a basic fact.... THEIR ARE GAY PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD!! THERE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN THERE ALWAYS WILL BE! Education sets us and our children free, not sheltering, bigotry, and ignorance. If we really want to talk about tradition ... Many Native and indigenous peoples of the world valued and honored  the entire spectrum of sexuality... Long before the spread of orthodox and traditional religions which, mind you, missionized the world and enforced their beliefs onto everyone!! EDUCATE YOURSELF AND STOP BEING A BIGOT!

This is all very interesting, Heather, but sadly, a heap of absolute nonsense. Every country is a culture different from others. Traditional and conservative values may be found in every country and in every ethnicity. In fact, Russia has had a communist and atheist system imposed upon it for most of the 20th century, so speaking of Russia as being particularly traditional and conservative displays an enormous amount of ignorance. As for the "gay agenda": It doesn't exist, Heather, but feel free to believe it does, like million of other ignorants all over the world.

You have to wonder if a certain young British diver with a good deal of pluck and the likability and charm of the kid next door admitting he's dating a man  hasn't had an impact on others such as Brian Boitano and Robin Roberts.

In the case of Brian Boitano, I don't recall his running away from gay rumors though I'm sure there were some at the time he was more visibly in the public eye. Actually I don't recall any rumors about him period. He didn't seem to have temperament problems, anger issues, addictions, etc.  He opened up in a classy way and one that did not draw undue attention. The only thing I resent is that he's about my age and he looks a lot better. I will also have to say I agree with the poster who said he should leave the hat at home.

I hope he leaves that hat at home...

Aside from that, I really don't get the 'private lives should stay private' argument: it boils down to a world wide 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Our sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, but that's what it looks like if we hide it. We'd never have made it this far if it weren't for those loud, proud voices that first broke the silence.

Coming out takes courage, no matter who you are. It provides comfort and encouragement to those still in the closet, and it helps break down the walls of homophobia by showing the world just what a big, diverse group we are.

I'm getting bored with sporting celebs 'coming out' as a service to humanity. I think they have an overinflated sense of their own importance and a person's private life should be just that, private. As long as they don't make anti Gay statements, it is no-one else's business.

I'm just as bored as you are, but not in this case.  If this opportunity hadn't presented itself, Brian probably never would come out publicly.

Brian Boitano has been out for years. Nice man, but this is a photo op moment. But good for him that he's using his fame for something good.

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