Russia’s gay crackdown: Oodles of morning news

Russian hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk is fine with oppressing gays, because “it’s a free world.”  More from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated:

Here’s a shocker: another high-profile Russian athlete has come out in support of their country’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law.

“I agree, of course,” said Ilya Kovalchuk. “I’m Russian and we all have to respect that. It’s personal and, like I said, it’s a free world, but that’s our line. That’s our country, so everybody has to respect that.”

I’m guessing that Kovalchuk, who was speaking to TSN, might have a different understanding of the phrase “free world” than most people.


NHL’s top player Sidney Crosby opposes Russian anti-gay law.

Danish government warns Russia.

Canadian athletes aren’t thrilled about a boycott, but they’re totally ticked over Russia’s anti-gay law.

Zambia is on Russia’s side.

Nice Olympic protest sidewalk-art:

nice olympic-protest-pic

Sochi Olympics street art by ida4 in the UK.

Irish musician pulls out of Russia concert:

Musician Keith Pascoe has been praised by Irish gay rights groups for withdrawing from a music event in Russia to highlight laws allowing “homophobic bullying”.

Mr Pascoe was set to lead RTÉ’s Vanbrugh Quartet to the Russian-Irish festival in Moscow this December, but will not now be attending.

In a statement, Mr Pascoe said he would not be attending after contemplating the invitation with colleagues.

“Being gay myself I felt this the best way to highlight the pernicious laws that are in force now: a license for homophobic bullying in schools and a green light to gaybashers all over Russia,” he said.

“I think many musicians will sooner or later realise what serious consequences these laws will have on Russians and on the safety of visiting LGBT people, whether musicians or not.”

American gays behaving badly.

Billie Jean King is rather indecisive.

Florida cities considering breaking Sister City relationships with Russia.

Russia isn’t your “host” and the Olympics aren’t some dinner party:

The Olympic organizing committees are not hosts, they are not heads of households. They are suppliers who have sought the right, in a competitive bidding process, to use the intellectual property of the International Olympic Committee for their mutual benefit. No athlete asked for the privilege of competing in Sochi specifically. It was the Russians who asked for the privilege of organizing the 2014 Winter Olympics for the benefits they felt they would provide, not out of altruistic hospitality. When they won their bid, they signed on to the values and principles of the IOC, including Principle 4 (sport is a human right) and Principle 6 (no discrimination in sport) of the Olympic Charter. The government of Russia signed a contract with the IOC, and the IOC needs to enforce that contract….

Olympians are clients with contractual relationships that are being violated. It is time for the host and guest analogy to be banned from discussion of what behavior is acceptable and advisable in Sochi. Like any self-respecting client, when you don’t get what you paid for, you complain or take your business elsewhere.

While she may want to respect her mother-in-law’s tastes when she heads to her home for Thanksgiving, an athlete should not receive threats from her national sports federation about the color she paints her nails. And while public displays of affection aren’t always appropriate in a fine restaurant, a skater should be able to embrace his husband when he wins a gold medal. Certainly any person present in Sochi should be able to take the hand of any other person of any gender in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

Defending the Olympic Charter isn’t a political act, nor is it a social faux pas. It is simply the right thing to do.

Равенство и справедливость для всех в России!
Equality and justice for all in Russia!

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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41 Responses to “Russia’s gay crackdown: Oodles of morning news”

  1. Michael says:

    Oh yeah! Seemed like Crosby’s statement was kind of wishy-washy…


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  2. The_Fixer says:

    Oh KathyM., in the off chance you see this, it’s worth my time to try and educate you.

    Homosexuals are “in your face”, huh? Gee, I am gay and am surrounded by heterosexuals every day. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not confronted by a heterosexual who is “in my face”. I see straight couples every day who are expressing their affection for one another – in real life and in the media. Your poor sensibilities are being offended because you occasionally see a gay person or hear of us in the media? I think you should try living on the other side of the fence once. Not only are we constantly reminded that we aren’t equal, we have to put up with poorly-written diatribes from the likes of you.

    I will answer your post in a rational way – like it or not, gay and bisexual people are a normal part of the human existence, regardless of what the brainwashing that you have been exposed to says. Throughout the years, many young gay people have struggled to understand that what they feel and the way that they are is a normal part of the human existence. Why? Because the lack sufficient information to understand that. The hatred experienced by these young and vulnerable people is fed by people like you, who deny them information about their own selves and instead give fuel to the fires of bullying and rejection by spreading false information.

    Ever stop to think why some gay people (and it is a very small minority) have taken the time and effort to demonstrate at churches? Maybe because they lead the charge to make and keep us second-class citizens.

    As far as gay Pride parades and festivals are concerned, sorry, there is very little of what you describe at most Pride events. Our own local Pride festival had no nakedness on display. Yes, there were a few people who did wear leather. But guess what? That’s part of life. Whether you find that to your taste in the bedroom or not, there are people who do that sort of thing. And they are not hurting anyone, so what’s the problem? There isn’t one, except in your mind.

    I don’t know how a same-sex marriage can be valid and illegal. You’ll have to explain that one. It appears that you are very confused on this issue.

    Now a word about tradition. It was once tradition to own other human beings. It was once tradition to buy a wife, and treat her as property. It was once tradition to take the land of native peoples in an effort to expand a country’s reach. Indentured servitude was once a tradition. Just because something is “traditional” does not make it right.

    In conclusion, I have to say that you are remarkably inept in making your argument. You have not shown one solid reason for denying gay people our rights, and chose the worst possible place to do it. You have failed miserably and should stop typing, you’re doing your illegitimate cause no good.

  3. BloggerDave says:

    Such distress, unhappiness and anger in your post…. Love it… ;)

  4. Houndentenor says:

    Someone said this recently (Ann Northrup I think). Here’s what’s likely to happen. the Olympics will go off without incident. They aren’t going to arrest gay athletes with all the cameras watching. (They could and they might. It’s certainly a possibility and a troubling one, but it would be incredibly stupid). But as soon as the games are over and the cameras are no longer on Russia the crackdown will continue not just against gays but all minorities (anyone seen as not Russian enough) and probably get a lot worse. We can’t let the cameras stop focusing on what is going on.

    My whole life whenever anyone talks about human rights abuses or even genocide they say never again. And then it happens again and no one does anything. At what point do we actually mean it? When will we decide not to tolerate human rights abuses and act like there’s nothing we can do? When?

  5. Houndentenor says:

    You’re obviously not from the Bible Belt. You can hear something this stupid or far worse all over the place down here.

  6. Houndentenor says:

    Like anything else, it depends on the drag queen. I knew Varla Jean Merman way back when. That’s a very funny act and one any performer would be proud of.

  7. Houndentenor says:

    None of what you said is anything to be ashamed of. I wish there had been a book in the school library when I was in the 2nd grade telling me it was okay for me to be gay. And that it was wrong to abuse kids you think are “faggots”. If only. What’s wrong with that? No book ever made anyone gay. I’m denying nothing. As for nudity, the only nudity I’ve ever seen at a Pride Parade were a few topless lesbians and a seeing a few breasts never hurt anyone.

    As for being disrespectful, that is my right. Just as you were allowed to post your hateful diatribe here (note while people are disagreeing with you, no one has censored you in any way). And as for mocking tradition, I have spent a lifetime studying and performing western classical music. You’ve probably never met anyone who respects as many traditions as I do. I even want to get married one day. What could be more traditional than that. Oh right, I want to marry another man. Do you really think a woman should marry a gay man? I don’t. I like women and don’t wish that on anyone. But it’s funny that you talk about disrespect since you obviously have none for me but want me to have some for you. Why should I respect you if you don’t respect me?

  8. karmanot says:

    “Are drag queens something to be proud of?”—– Only at a Republican convention.

  9. ckg1 says:

    To back up M4..and to quote Anne Robinson…

    “Kathy, you ARE the weakest link! GOODBYE!”

  10. BeccaM says:

    We LGBTs are shameless that way. ;-)

  11. BeccaM says:

    I got a guy at the NSA. He knows everything.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    How did you know the new Republican party slogan? They weren’t going to roll it out until November!

  13. Moderator4 says:

    KathyM., you are banned. Goodbye.

  14. fritzrth says:

    That’s the crux, isn’t it. Sinners are supposed to suffer! You’d almost think that “gay” meant “happy” again. B-)

  15. BeccaM says:

    Yep. Hate is always easier than acceptance and love, and ignorance requires no effort at all.

  16. BeccaM says:

    As far as I can tell she hit every single hateful, homophobic, bigoted and ignorant note.

    I mean, really — these two ladies here are being SO disrespectful, getting legally married in a public government building, being all smiling and happy. How incredibly rude of them not to be suffering horribly for Kathy’s Bible-thumping pleasure.

  17. Monoceros Forth says:

    We all like to believe that we are good people or, at least, capable of becoming good people. Some say that to become a good person, one must do good works. Others say that to be a good person, all that’s necessary is faith and the goodness will follow. (I guess. I’m not entirely certain how that’s supposed to work.) But good works require effort; faith can be painfully uncertain and ephemeral. Kathy up there has found a simpler way to assure herself of her goodness: she hates fags. Can’t get more good and Godly than that, eh?

  18. BeccaM says:

    Meanwhile in U.S. news, two more counties in New Mexico — Valencia and San Miguel — have joined Bernalillo, Doña Ana, and Santa Fe counties — in issuing same sex marriage licenses, beginning immediately.

  19. REALrenovato says:

    Do you ever listen to yourself Kathy? Wow, some unresolved issues there.

  20. Ron Robertson says:

    Is this a joke? It’s just so idiotic it’s hard to believe anyone is THAT stupid in reality.

  21. BeccaM says:

    That’s one heck of a lot of hate you’re holding in your heart.

  22. fritzrth says:

    That is one of the most hilarious trolls I’ve ever read. Is there a single homophobic bigoted self-righteous hate-filled meme that she missed?

    But they think they have every right to be disrespectful.

    Those uppity homosexuals. Why can’t they just stay in the closet where they belong?

  23. Monoceros Forth says:

    “But they think they have every right to be disrespectful.”

    To you, yes.

  24. dula says:

    True and those horrible black people shout down the KKK.

  25. KathyM. says:

    The thing is that homosexuals are “in your face” and out of control. In the US, they are in schools at the very lowest grades with homosexual books like “King and King.” Do you deny that that books is in schools? It shows two men kissing.
    In other words, they wish to brainwash little children into accepting homosexuality and bisexuality.
    Homosexuals deny all this, of course, even when faced with the facts. “Who, me?” they ask. They can’t answer posts in a rational way. Who, me?
    They perform same sex marriages in places where it is illegal. They disrespect the law.
    Homosexuals actually go into churches, disrupt services, and mock the people’s beliefs.
    They shout down anti-same sex marriage speakers.
    They call people homophobes just because they may hold traditional beliefs about marriage.
    The disrespect that homosexuals now display in American society is way beyond anything that is acceptable. But they think they have every right to be disrespectful.
    Ever seen a gay “pride” march? There is nothing there to be proud of. They are a display of abnormality. Is this what they are “proud” of? They show off their nakedness to children, and showcase whips and chains. They scare kids with their drag queens. Are drag queens something to be proud of? This tells you something about what the homosexual movement is all about.
    Homosexuals deny all this, but the facts are there. The homosexual movement is one of
    disrespect for people who disagree with it. It is about the mocking of tradition.

  26. Jim Olson says:

    I got it. Welcome, Tyler.

  27. usagi says:

    So, how do we pressure the sports associations to leave the Olympics? It struck me this morning (perhaps thinking about one of the sad lemur “athletes have trained so HAAAARD for this” posts) that we’ve been missing a prong of attack. The IOC and the official sponsors can get through a bad year of publicity (besides, barring something really bad happening who’ll remember Russia once the focus shifts to Portugal in two years?). Something that would do them lasting damage is if the agencies for the sports competing in the Olympics pulled their sanction for the event. If that happens, all well and good that you broke the world record in your event. Pity it doesn’t count since the event isn’t sanctioned. Who’s asked USFSA ( for a comment about sanctioning an event where their athletes face arrest?

  28. mirror says:

    Seemed like Crosby’s statement was kind of wishy-washy…

  29. James says:

    Regarding the item “Zambia is on Russia’s side,” that was a letter to the editor in a Zambian paper, but it was written by a white, Canada-based, far right-wing religious nutjob named Paul Kokowski who is known for writing inflammatory anti-gay letters to the editors of just about any newspaper he can think of internationally, including the US and Canada. The same letter was published in a Nigerian paper.

  30. Skeptical Cicada says:

    It is the PERFECT term for them! I agree entirely.

    I haven’t seen house faggots working this hard to suppress activism since they tried to stop anyone from pressuring Obama on DADT.

    The quislings are really slinging the talking points hard on this one!

  31. JayRandal says:

    Russians have gone nuts. While they are attacking Gays their client Syria about to be attacked by our military. Anyway Russians prefer to abuse Gays over everything else. Just write them off as lunatics.

  32. Tyler Albertario says:

    And thank you for taking up my defense, John.

  33. Tyler Albertario says:

    Whoa, I didn’t know people would read this so wrong. Just to clear things up: Yes, I’m a gay man and yes, I’m using the term “house faggots” to refer to LGBT Russia apologists.

  34. Tyler Albertario says:

    Whoa, I didn’t know people would read this so wrong. Just to clear things up: Yes, I am a gay man and yes, I’m using the term “house faggots” to refer to LGBT Russia apologists.

  35. I agree – I’m still not 100% sure of what Tyler meant, but I’m getting the sense that if he meant what I thought he meant, the term is permissible, whether or not I’d use it…

  36. fritzrth says:

    I’m inclined to be with Tyler on this one. I think you and I might have read the post differently.

    The gay men and women who are so willing, and even eager, to support the IOC and Russia and tell all us uppity queers to just shut up, sit back down in the closet and ignore the plight of the GLBT community in Russia, have done more than enough to have earned the moniker. House Faggots fits.

    BTW, Indigo, you’re definitely not one of them.

  37. Moderator3 says:

    He’s a new commenter here. Since he seems to be one of the boys, it seems okay to let him use the term he chooses.

  38. Indigo says:

    Speaking as one of the house fags, I’d like to remind you that a faggot is a bundle of sticks. Please rejoin us with more entertaining malaprops soon. Or learn English.

  39. Indigo says:

    It isn’t just Russians saying stupid crap, one of my neighbors informed me yesterday that Russia is an excellent investment opportunity with very low tax rates. I confess to being so flummoxed by that one that I failed to remind him that the Bush family patriarch, good old Preston Bush, made his fortune investing in Nazi Germany. Yeah, great investment opportunities about in curiously vile places.

  40. I get tired of the Olympic athletes whining about how hard they trained. Show them the pictures of the beaten and tortured LGBT community in Russia whenever they are “torn,” etc.

  41. Tyler Albertario says:

    Damn, the house faggots have really come out swinging, haven’t they?

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