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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

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...

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.

Very well said Heather

@'Real Man'  If you were ACTUALLY a "real man" - WITH a brain (or even a lick of common sense) you would realize this has NOTHING to do with our 'sex lives'!  This is a 100% Human Rights issue!

PLEASE ... for the Love of God -- Get a clue & get CURRENT ... BEFORE you open your mouth and say ANOTHER stupid thing!

The fact you felt you have to call yourself "A Real Man" tells me you have issues.

I agree that the Olympics shouldn't necessarily be a platform to protest from BUT... Imagine for a moment that suddenly you (heterosexual) were informed by the state that any form of relationship you've been engaging in whether it were sexual or purely romantic was declared illegal. Imagine that to even speak of heterosexual love was a federal offense. Imagine that vigilantes in the community were pretending to be sympathetic to heteros only to entrap you, pull you out into the streets, beat you, spit on you, torture you, pepper spray you and proudly post the videos on youtube. Would you not hope for some kind of support from your global brethran. This isn't about gays advertising to the world that they're gay and proud. This is about showing solidarity and doing anything you can to help people in need. If you've been an out gay couple for 30 years in a committed relationship, would you not be absolutely heartbroken by this new law?

Many countries have anti-gay laws, but most of them have been that way for centuries. Russia is a high profile case because they took the insane step to roll human rights BACKWARD. Also the world is watching Russia right now, so it is the perfect time to raise awareness of the unbelievable steps BACKWARD they are taking.

This isn't a "I'm gay look at me!" issue. This is a "Oh my god! murder in the streets based on sexual preference!!" issue. There is NOTHING shameful about it. These are people's children, cousins, and parents being beaten and killed.

I disagree. This has little to do with anyones "sex life", as you call it, but more with everyones personal right to be whoever they want to be without having to fear political repression. Its not the homos pushing their sex life into everything but the russian government pushing their moral values (which are entirely motivated by fear of their own, though not necessarily homosexual, sexuality) into peoples lifes. If you want sports without politics, go beat a WR in a world championship. The entire idea if the Olympics is highly political and if, as a competitor, you put your own safetiy or your carreer above that, youre just a f ucking idiot.

The olymipcs will be held in a country were gays get beat up, tortured, humiliated and have less rights than straights, it has nothing to do with the athletes but it would be nice if they showed solidarity with the gays in Russia that are suffering.But i assume by your comment you dont care about the gays that are suffering in Russia because you're tried of hearing about gays all the time.

I have nothing against gays, but god this "we will put our happy rainbow flag in any possible spot on your face" is more than a good reason not to like anything related to this shit.

Olympic games are about games (and politics, yes), not about the rights or wishes of humans of the same sex who think it is perfectly alright for everyone around to know they are gay.

Thanks, but no.

I would agree with you if they would not face prosecution and worse in Russia. Only using those displays they can show the bigotry that rules there and, in the long run, do something against it.

I agree I too do not have any malice towards any LGBT person I think they are awesome and extremely strong and awesome people. With that being said, straight people do not flaunt being straight. There is no straight badge of honor or straight version of a rainbow. I believe keeping religious, political, and sexual preference out of the Olympics is important though because some people don't know how to act, and if you are intelligent enough to desire peace then why intentionally do something that might disrupt it regardless of whether you are wearing a cross around your neck or a rainbow pin on your shirt. I feel the only people who would want to disturb the peace by thinking they are above the law "rule 50" should be punished, if for no other reason than they knew better. IDGAF if you are gay. I do care if you a whiny little bitch that just wants attention. This is the Olympics you need to be recognized for your athletic expertise, and nothing else.

The part where the argument kind of falls short is the fact that we straights don't get the shit kick out of us for being straight. If we did I'm sure we'd find a logo or something to display our solidarity for each other.

 You don't like people expressing their opinion, go to Saudi Arabia. I mean, if you want to keep spewing your bigotry by all means go for it, but don't expect to have many friends left unless they are all hateful and stupid like you.

Is it "perfectly alright" for letting everyone around you know that you are straight? Yes? Then you're a hypocrite -- and why should anyone follow your hypocritical anti-gay double standard?

I think the point he was getting at was that straight people don't walk around exclaiming their "straightness" so why should gay and lesbians?

Note: I'm not for OR against homosexuals, let them live however they like it doesn't effect me so don't go calling me bigoted.

In some countries holding hands would be considered flaunting your sexuality. Every time I see heterosexual people walking down the street holding hands I am reminded that if I did that with my partner I might very well get spat at, beaten up, or at the very least there would be the odd "faggot" exchange. So I don't do it, but if I did I would not be flaunting my sexuality any more than you would be. 

If you lived in a world where holding your partner's hand could get you a beating in the street you might show a little more support and solidarity for those whose situation is far worse than yours ever could be. 

Straight people walk around proclaiming they are straight every day of their lives. Did you hold hands with your girlfriend in school? Or kiss your wife's cheek in public? Or open a joint bank account? Or go to a dinner party as a couple? Just because you don't give it a second thought doesn't mean you are not broadcasting it loud and clear every second of your life.

Well actually I don't consider your examples "proclaiming" at all whether doing it in a gay or straight relationship.

FTR, I don't agree at all with what is going on in Russia or the IOC stance on it.

All I was doing was clarifying what I thought the above poster was actually getting at.

They should "exclaim" their homosexuality to demonstrate that a significant proportion of the population (sports stars) are homosexual. They deserve equal rights, and until they have them, they need to be vocal. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

andrey you are a biggot, fuck you

Pay more attention in English class and leave the thinking to the grown-ups.

IT IS PERFECTLY ALRIGHT YOU NARROW MINDED PRICK

The IOC has been hypocritical for decades.  Every time they play a gold medalist's national anthem, they are being political.  When they kicked out the Taiwanese athletes from the Montreal Olympics in 1976 because Communist China didn't like it, they were being political.  When they kicked John Carlos and Tommy Smith out of the Olympic Village in Mexico City and sent them home after their "Black Power" protest in 1968, they were being political.  When they allowed Hitler to use the Olympics as a display of Nazi fascism in Berlin in 1936, they were being political.  When they stripped Native American Jim Thorpe of all his gold medals because he made a few bucks playing baseball, they were being political.  

Is wearing a rainbow pin really going to highlight the big issue here? Shouldn't Blake Skjellerup boycott the olyimpics altogether wouldn't that send out a much more powerful message. Infact all the athletes who are opposed to persecution should boycott by taking part they are complicite in this regime and its propaganda - same goes for anyone who supports the games by watching them. 

Our whole country and the other countries who oppose state-sanctioned persecution of people over who they choose to date/marry/love should boycott these olympics. Tough crap if it hurts US-Russia relations. Why would we want to maintain good relations with a country that jails people for who they love -- and for what music they play? Don't we have any principles left in America -- that aren't about denying things to other people, that is?

Punish?! How? Will the athletes be given 50 lashes or tarred and feathered? This is a backwards step in time. In 1996 when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, the IOC gave the Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. area and Cobb county, Ga. the smack down for their anti-gay BS and rerouted the torch around the areas compltely It's 2013.This is unacceptable.This double standard is being applied now because the IOC is caving in to ignorant Russian homophobia. Any LGBT athletes competing in this should make their plans clandestinely and reveal them only at the last moment, while we, as a united front, should make our voices at home loud enough to be heard 'round the globe. It boggles the mind that a country which was once so deeply entrenched in socialism would have any issue whatsoever with sexual orientation...but then under their twisted interpretation of it during the Soviet era the LGBT community faced even harsher treatment. Take a lesson from history: Tommy Smith and John Carlos. Any respect I had for how the IOC handled LGBT discrimination issues in 1996 has gone right out the window with this incident.

An entire class of people are being persecuted. They are first and foremost forbidden to express their sexuality at all, but they are subject to punishment, fine, imprisonment, being beaten and even murdered. It is time for the civilized parts of the world to stand up for the oppressed as they would hopefully if the people being persecuted were Jews or Blacks or any other persecuted group. We must not sit idly by and pretend the LGBT members in Russia are okay. They're not okay and we learned lessons from the horrors of the Holocaust and the horrors of our own mistreatment of African Americans. I say we either become loud spokespersons on behalf of the LGBT community in Russia or we protest the Olympics altogether and stay out of there. And to those few people who have spoken with such hatred and violence toward LGBT people, we know from near-death experiences that you, yes you will face the reality of your hatred and your violence and you will experience the full depth of your own hatred onto yourself. Karma is real and God is real and whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap. If he sows love, then he shall reap love, but if he sows hatred, then he shall reap hatred.

So reactive demonstration IS NOT covered.

I am going to do a grass roots boycott.  I will boycott the coverage, but I will also not buy / have anything to do with any product/organisation associated with the games for 12 months.

Sherbert McNuggets, I don't think you realize but white males in the States are very fortunate and very privileged, what you're missing out on is a lack of education or willingness to compete. If you don't want to lose your job or the opportunity then step up to the plate and stop making excuses. You will only find success after you admit your own faults and actually correct them. You sound like a lazy ass, which I'm not sure if you are, but you just sound so ridiculous that as a reader I can't help but paint this picture of some pimple-faced snotty teen trolling gay forums. In some cases, you may be right, you may have lost your job to affirmative action but at the same time no one will ever turn you down because you're a man and not a woman or a minority - they will have done it because you either suck at your job or you were the worst of the bunch. They will never fire you if you are productive and efficient (unless your personality is shit.)

Your arguments come across as attention-seeking and inflammatory for no other reason. I don't mean to devalue your personality but your rhetoric just seems petulant and no one here cares for it.

To respond to your comments is to perpetuate your behaviour but I feel like what you are saying carries a resentment that no one has addressed: you say you have friends that are gay but I don't fully believe that. I think that if you had gay friends (not just gay people you know) you would respect them enough to understand more about the culture and themselves. I think your curiosity about the issue is stifled by your 'I'm not a pussy' mentality. I don't mean to psychoanalyze your comments too deeply but I don't think everyone quite understands why you would post something so uneducated and belligerent on here. I can call you stupid and a bigot and whatnot but I won't because I know that these are your belief and I can't mock you for your beliefs - or lack thereof - I can only make observations. You sound like a rebellious, angsty teen and use 'fuck' a lot so it shows what kind of person you are. If you're mad at the fact that a gay or a Mexican or a woman can get a job or is treated with 'special treatment' that's because you can probably never blame yourself.

You say that you hate how gays are all loud and proud about being gay and you have to hear about it, well I'm sure that as a gnostic atheist you are just as vocal. Did you feel that mentioning you were a gnostic atheist would have changed any of this conversation? As if that defined your opinions and why you were dating these things. I was raised Catholic and although I do not practice religion I do respect a person's faith. Faith is fascinating and to have faith, in whatever it is, is inspiring. I respect religion but I don't agree with it at times, to shut your mind like being an atheist is to in fact become religious in your anti-religious thought: you evangelize the fact you don't believe as if to convince yourself and is a disrespect to others. I don't think it makes someone any weaker or stupider if they have something to believe in. Your beliefs become your faith whether you are a gnostic atheist or not.

I do agree to some extent that gay parades may go a bit too far but what you need to understand is that it isn't just a Gay Parade, in fact, it is a Pride Parade: pride in self-expression and sexuality. It is a celebration of being free and it took me a while to understand but it is a demonstration, although admittedly debauched, of sexual freedom.

I think extremist views on either side, gay or straight, are bigoted and you should always approach someone else's opinion with understanding of why the other thinks that way. It is that exact empathy that will lead to progress and understanding. I do agree that the in-yo-face approach is almost off putting because it crosses people's boundaries of comfort. I think the gay culture had become too much of a shock culture and that will never lead to understanding. Just like Sherbert McNuggets statements, they shocked but no one ever asked substantially on why he thinks that way because we have already made our conclusions - just like with a Pride Parade, no one is looking for answers if the graphics are so visual.

All in all to say, everyone stop being so whiney and get the fuck to bed. There are worse things happening to better people in the world.

Well put. I keep waiting for Sherbet's punch line...

I think it would be amusing if several countries decided to make their Olympic uniforms in rainbow colours. 

If they think Blake Skjellerup's rainbow pin is political advocacy, then, to be really consistent, any athlete who thanks Jesus for his or her success or makes the sign of the cross should be fined for religious advocacy.

Of course the IOC is talking out of its ass. Rule 50, if enforced at all, will be enforced selectively, specifically for gays.

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