Your AM Russian gay Olympic implosion update

The morning news roundup about Russia’s crackdown on its gay and trans citizens, and the global backlash against the Sochi Olympics.

FIFA soccer body asks Russia to clarify anti-gay law.

The International Olympic Committee
 would prefer that gays remain closeted during the Olympics, or they may kick you out.

MSNBC: “Since Putin’s re-election in 2012, over 5,000 people have been arrested in more than 200 protests over anti-gay laws, according to figures from Amnesty International.”

You can always count on the self-loathing Log Cabin Republicans, who have been entirely absent from this entire controversy, to now say something idiotic after the rest of us just spent two weeks blowing the entire issue up in the media worldwide:

Artwork by Vasily Slonov.

Artwork by Vasily Slonov.

“People can dump out as many gallons of vodka in the streets as they want, but when it comes to achieving realistic change in Russia, we are at a time of strategizing right now,” said Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP-focused LGBT advocacy group. “Right now this is up to the State Department and the IOC. The State Department needs to present to the American public its plan to protect LGBT athletes, but the onus really needs to be on the IOC.

The vodka protest won’t work? Already has, Gregory.  Or don’t they have newspapers over at the self-hating closet-club?

Canadian gold medalist says he’d sit out Olympics if that’s what the team decided.

Sister Cities are cutting ties with Russia.

US distance runner breaks Russian law by speaking out against anti-gay legislation in Moscow:

US middle distance runner Nick Symmonds dedicated his 800-meter silver medal at the world athletics championships Tuesday to his gay and lesbian friends back home, becoming the first athlete to openly criticize Russia’s controversial anti-gay law on the country’s soil.

“As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them,” he told R-Sport after running a 1:43.55 at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. “Whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there’s anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”

Voice of America on the anti-Russian backlash that’s been created by Russia’s gay-bashing.

Eight horrific stories of being gay in Russia.

Former US Olympian Johnny Weir is starting to make better statements about standing up to Russia’s anti-gay law.

Strike that. Johnny Weir is still an idiot:

“But people in the United States right now are focused so much on attacking Russia and they’re kind of losing the point of attacking this law as opposed to attacking Russia as a nation. For me as an athlete and somebody who has trained and lived and performed and loved Russia for so long, it’s heart breaking that my community is being so suppressed inside a country I love so much that I could be suppressed in a country I love so much and that this Olympics, this thing that we train every single day for, bleed, blood, sweat and tears, It could end in disaster for people like me that could be arrested simply for wearing the wrong costume.”

He almost gets it right, then has to screw it up.  Yes, Johnny, we’re the ones losing the point, when you’ve been providing cover for these people for months with your false equivalencies.  I’m sorry, I meant you’re providing cover for these laws – it’s not about the Russian people, who overwhelmingly support these laws and hate our/your guts.

Russia steps up raids against migrants, puts them in camps.  But remember what Johnny Weir said, it’s just that one law, they’re really nice people otherwise.

TIME: Pressure builds on NBC for its Olympic coverage:

In other words, gay athletes and fans can be seen at the Olympics, just not heard. The law puts behavioral restrictions on a targeted group of people. It discriminates.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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17 Responses to “Your AM Russian gay Olympic implosion update”

  1. karmanot says:

    Johnny Weir: “a country I love so much that I could be suppressed in a country I love so much” —-then emigrate to Russia you whiny collaborator and then report back how much they love you.

  2. karmanot says:

    Nick Symmonds an American hero.

  3. FLL says:

    Assuming Weir even qualifies, it will be interesting to see if the Russians let their media interview Weir to talk about non-political, personal topics, which would include his husband. Weir’s marriage to another man was widely reported in the Russian media last year because he is so well known among the Russian public.

  4. quax says:

    Good man. Let’s hope he sets an example that many other athletes will follow. If so, Sotchi may end up the gayest Olympics yet.

  5. quax says:

    Agreed, hard sanctions are necessary, but IMHO Weir like empathy should be at the same time expressed, to make clear this is not targeted at the Russian people but a very specific homophobia and persecution of gays that Putin legislated into existence.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a better (and more handsome) spokesman than Johnny Weird – runner Nick Symmonds! And he came in second place in the championships!

  7. FLL says:

    Obviously, Johnny Weir has deep emotional connections to Russia (fluency in the language, Russian-American husband, etc.), and he would like to see Russian attitudes change. But an entire population doesn’t change it’s attitude if the rest of the world confronts it with sugar water. For 45 years after WWII, all of Europe’s former Eastern Bloc countries were stomped on, and their people were treated like slave populations and murdered in cold blood for attempting to emigrate. As an example, little of the grain that was grown in Poland in the post-war era ever went to feed Poland’s people; it went to Cuba to subsidize Castro’s regime. Even Johnny Weir would have to admit that Russian complacency about all of this ended when they had to confront the failings of Russia’s own economic system. Putin is trying to hide the failings of his policies with his anti-gay pogrom, but the only change in attitudes will come when the Russian public sees through the deception—similar to what happened in Russia during the late 1980s.

  8. quax says:

    Don’t think that Weir is all that wrong on this. This is mostly Putin’s power politics exploiting ever present homophobia. The Russian people as such are not that much worse than humans anywhere, just less enlightened when it come to sexual identity forming.

    IMHO the focus should be on Putin and his power play, not on the Russian nation. The latter just plays into Putin’s strategy. I think it would be helpful to remind this people of how a Russian cultural icons like Tchaikovsky suffered because there was no proper understanding of gay sexuality.

  9. lynchie says:

    They have construction problems in Soochi which is not surprising.

    In addition to the actual sports venues, hotels are an important part of the Olympics. The minimum number of hotel rooms needed
    for the event is 41,500. As part of the preparation for the Games, 43
    hotels with a combined 24,000 rooms were supposed to be built. Of those,
    six have already been cancelled due to “systematic problems with

    According to Olympic Committee documents, an additional 24 hotel
    projects have “fallen through or are at risk of falling through.” The
    reason is listed as the same for all 24 projects in question – lack of

    A total of 30 hotels are at risk. In addition prices are sky high.

    Delay the Olympics and move to another site.

  10. UncleBucky says:

    Log Cabiners…. Phhht (with great disdain!)…

  11. Rambie says:

    Problem is, NBC already paid the fee.

  12. pliny says:

    Sounds like NBC should be checking their contract for an escape clause and threatening to use it. If the IOC wants to repeat 1936, let somebody else finance it.

  13. Morgan Rye says:

    boycotting the games only hurts the athletes and moving it for 2014 is impossible. solution POSTPONE them til 2015 so some other country that has the venues and wants them can bid on them.russia is manipulating the world at this point…. and needs to be stopped. if the altletes are in danger than what’s the pint. read on the latest and then decide what you think..

  14. DastiusKrazitauc says:

    I think Megan Rapinoe has it right (the Johnny Weir is still an idiot”, clip). She expressed appropriate concern for LGBT Russians, right now, before and after the games, whereas Johnny seems to only focus on himself and his skating/medal winning opportunities at Sochi. Megan should have her own headline.

  15. Jim Olson says:

    Starting to? I’ll grant that he’s a talented skater. But he’s always come across as an arrogant, self-centered twit with not a lot of substance between his ears.

  16. chris10858 says:

    Im starting to come to the conclusion that Johnny Weir is an idiot. Perhaps the Log Cabin Republicans might want to make him their official spokesperson?

    If the Russian people are so great as he claims, why is it then that such as overwhelming majority of them pretty much equate gay people as perverts or even pedophiles?

  17. StraightGrandmother says:

    “The vodka protest won’t work? Already has, Gregory. Or don’t they have newspapers over at the self-hating closet-club?

    We are all deeply indebted to those Gay Rights Bloggers who are the ones who started this Campaign against the Russian hate Laws and actions. Thanks to all of you, and you know who you are.

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