Russia updates: Tourism in trouble, Moscow boycotted, more actors and athletes come out

More on Russian television trying to drop a gay journalist off along a highway in the middle of nowhere as retaliation for him speaking out against Dear Leader PutinRFE/RL:

Kirchick said that after RT producers in Moscow abruptly cut off his audio feed, he headed to the airport in a prearranged taxi that the station agreed to pay for as part of his appearance agreement.

“So about halfway down the highway on the way to the airport, my driver gets a phone call from his boss saying that the car ride has been canceled and that he’ll have to drop me off on the side of the road,” Kirchick said.

“And I told him that I would pick up the tab. But at the end, actually, at the airport, he said that the ride was free, so maybe we have some anti-Putin activists in the Swedish taxi company.”

He said RT didn’t explain their actions but did call him to tell him his ride was being canceled. Kirchick said he used “adult language and told them where to put it.”

RT bureaus in Moscow and Washington did not respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

Tour operators to Russia are canceling trips, giving tourists option to pick another destination.

Possible “huge dent” in Russia’s tourism industry:

Even as the list of celebs choosing not to get a new passport stamp from Russia grows, we are seeing a number of tour operators like Isram, Atlantis and RSVP pull visits to the country from itineraries and tours. Such laws not only have a direct effect of the Russian LGBT community, but also causes a trickle-down effect on tourism as a whole. Even just a fraction of the 22,281,000 visitors per year can cause a huge dent in the tourism Rubles spent by foreign travelers.

Gay Australian snowboarder, Olympic hopeful, Belle Brockhoff, speaks out against Russian anti-gay law.

Actor Wentworth Miller comes out as gay, turns down award, boycotts St. Petersburg film festival, over anti-gay law.

Russia may lose world dog show after American Kennel Club asks world body to move dog show from Moscow in 2016.

Russians have some crazy notion that we’re somehow okay with Muslim anti-gay bigots:

One may only wonder what will happen in 2022, during the World Cup in Qatar, where any homosexual relations are punishable by imprisonment for five years and whipping.

It would be very interesting to see whether the supporters of boycott will be swift and arrogant enough to threaten the Wahhabi monarchy. They seem to be determined to behave so towards Russia, whose patience, in the long run, deserves an appraisal.

If you people would get your heads out of your butts, and read what goes on in the rest of the world, you’d know that we routinely criticize Muslim countries that oppress gays, women, and everyone else.

Something to think about:

Russians give gay-romance film hard time getting exhibition license.

Russian embassy in Norway dogged by rainbow sidewalk too! (First, it was Sweden.)

A problem not even ice-dancing can fix:

Perhaps it was foolish to expect any different from the descendants of the people who gave Adolf Hitler a chance to parade his regime on the world stage in 1936, and the literal people who have refused, again and again, to allow any official commemoration of the Israeli athletes slaughtered in Munich’s Olympic Village in 1972. But here’s the thing: I have internalized enough anti-Semitism over the years to think that almost makes sense. I mean, it’s Jewish stuff, what do you expect? This however, is different. The traditional powerhouses of the Winter Olympics—the countries where people are very, very good at things like ski jumping and the luge, tend to be right in the heart of the Aryan Country: your Austrians, your Germans, your Swedes, your Danes. I mean, the Nordic combined—it’s right there in the title, people. These also tend to be the countries with the most enlightened policies toward LGBT people (after that little blip from 1933 to 1945, that is). And I didn’t think the IOC would do this to them. The Israelis, yes. But some big gay (or gay-friendly) ubermensch from Norway, while the whole world watches? Not on your life.

I guess it just goes to show you, it’s a slippery slope, the most recent modern embodiment of Martin Niemöller’s famous “First they came …” principle. Whenever a governing body is allowed to deem the mere insistence of a group’s simple right to exist, openly and without fear, to be a question of “politics,” nobody is safe. Not even the Swedes. Not even the Swiss. To paraphrase Shirley Bassey: Your games are a sham, ’til you can say, hey world, I am what I am. And it’s a problem not even ice dancing can fix.

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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9 Responses to “Russia updates: Tourism in trouble, Moscow boycotted, more actors and athletes come out”

  1. patricia666 says:

    as Linda explained I am alarmed that a mom can profit $6232 in four weeks on the internet. read this w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  2. skwcw2001 . says:

    unfortunately as history and sociology teaches us, this will have to play out fully to its end game, which will be like a water hose that is crimped and then realised. they will end up killing many gays and destroying many lives then they will move on to others then the world will finally step in.

  3. FLL says:

    More and more athletes in coming years will come out as openly gay or bisexual. No country that has a problem with this is fit to host an international sports event, regardless of who they bribe.

  4. JayRandal says:

    Russians have gone nuts but they went nuts before under Stalin. Just write them off as homophobes.

  5. BeccaM says:

    Re: The World Cup in Qatar in 2022, I have this to say to Pravda:

    Thanks for reminding both us and the rest of the world that the problem of institutionalized intolerance, discrimination, and the blithe dismissal of civil rights concerns is an endemic problem in international athletics. That tolerance of hate isn’t limited just to the Olympics and not limited just to your country, Russia, and your new anti-gay pogrom.

    And thanks for reminding us how money obviously now totally overrides any of the pretty words of idealism, respect, and tolerance the athletics organizations may claim to hold — even if those words are in their charters.

    You’re absolutely right, this isn’t just Sochi, Russia. We will object to having ANY major world athletics events in ANY country that discriminates or persecutes on the basis of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation.

    Enough is enough.

  6. dcinsider says:

    Glad to hear the Wentworth MIller finally came out after denying it quite forcefully in 2007.

  7. sonoitabear says:

    Not surprising then that Russian tour operators are getting so desperate that they’ve strong-armed Trip Advisor into suspending the accounts of anyone who posts anything critical of Russian policies…

  8. Bj Lincoln says:

    Thanks John! You are on the ball!
    I hope this is the beginning of a global movement to stop discrimination of LGBT people. It may take a long time but I’m up for it. I never thought I would be married so as far as I’m concerned, anything can happen!

  9. Strepsi says:

    Anericablog, you’re doing a great job of keeping an eye on this, thanks!


    I’ve said it before, but look at our allies, gay and straight: beautiful inside and out. Now look at our enemies (or better yet, don’t) and it’s ugly through and through.

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