BREAKING: Russia Interior Minister confirms Olympic athletes will be arrested at Sochi under anti-gay law

BREAKING: This just in, after I published this post. Russia’s Interior Minister has just confirmed that Russia will enforce its draconian new anti-gay/anti-trans law during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and that Russia will arrest Olympic athletes and guests who run afoul of the new law.  That means an Olympic athlete appearing in public with their same-sex spouse will be arrested.  It also means that an NBC reporter interviewing any athlete who does or says anything perceived as pro-gay – for example, mentioning their same-sex spouse or appearing in their home with that spouse – will be jailed.

And in answer to my post below, now we know why it took the Russians three weeks to get back to the International Olympic Committee.  The Russians never had any intent on promising to protect the safety of athletes and guests at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

It’s been nearly three weeks since the US Olympic Committee (USOC) claimed that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was working with Russia in order to guarantee the safety of athletes and visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  And, sadly, we still have no guarantee.

Which raises the question of just how long it should take for the host of the Olympic Games to promise that it won’t throw Olympic athletes, and visitors, in jail?  Shouldn’t that be a no-brainer?  And shouldn’t the fact that it’s taking going-on three weeks to get such a simple promise show that at this point no promise will be sufficient to guarantee the safety of our athletes?

As you know, Russia is in the middle of a violent crackdown on the human rights of its gay and trans citizens in order to bolster the failing Putin presidency (Putin has, in essence, made gay and trans people Russia’s new “Jews” – the “enemy” used to unite the people).

At the same time, neo-Nazi vigilante groups, who have been ignored, and certainly empowered, by the Russian government have been kidnapping and torturing gay teenagers across the country.  For a long while, the Russian authorities refused to even investigate the crimes, and now, following public pressure, they are investigating, though they say the torturers will only get 3 months in jail, if convicted.  Compare that to the jail terms given dissidents, or even someone who shoots a cat.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Russian vigilantes show off a young gay boy they claim to have abducted and then doused with urine after entrapping him via a gay social media site. Reports from Russia suggest the boy may now be dead.

Russia’s Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, has made clear, repeatedly, that Russia’s new anti-gay “propaganda” law – which prohibits anything perceived as pro-gay, whether it’s speech or even an article of clothing, or a hug – will apply to athletes and guests attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in  Sochi.

The Russian law is so broad that a gay Olympian seen in public with their same-sex spouse, or an NBC reporter conducting an interview with a gay athlete in which their same-sex spouse is mentioned, or a gay athlete simply receiving a hug from their gay partner after completing their competition, could lead to the arrest of all parties involved.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, photo by Елена Рыбакова.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has been an outspoken advocate of jailing Sochi Olympians and guests  who do anything perceived as “pro-gay.” Photo by Елена Рыбакова.

Let’s put aside for a moment the disturbing notion that the IOC even needs to ask Russia whether Olympic athletes and guests to the Sochi Games will be subject to arrest, kidnap, and torture.

No, what’s even more disturbing is that it’s taken nearly three weeks for the Russians to give a satisfactory answer to the question of whether Olympic athletes and guests will face arrest, kidnap and torture during the Sochi Games.

And that ought to tell us something.

A few weeks ago, Buzzfeed published a letter, dated July 25, 2013, from the US Olympic Committee, saying it was working with the IOC and the State Department in order to guarantee the safety of Americans at the Sochi Games.  In that letter, the USOC also noted that the IOC was working with the Russian government to determine how Russia’s draconian new anti-gay/anti-trans law might impact Olympic athletes and visitors during the Winter Games next February.

It’s now been nearly 3 weeks, and we still do not have our answer.

How many days does it take exactly to say “no, we’re not going to arrest, kidnap and torture Olympic athletes and guests during the Sochi Games”?

Apparently more than 19 .

Last Friday, more than two weeks after the USOC and IOC said they were trying to guarantee the safety of Olympic athletes and guests, the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, said there were “still uncertainties” as to whether Olympics-host Russia had plans to harm Olympic athletes and guests at Sochi.

If it’s taking the Russians nearly three weeks to promise not to harm athletes and guests attending the Winter Olympics, I’d call that  more than an “uncertainty.”

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, and tortured, by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest.

15 year old gay Russian boy kidnapped, and tortured, by anti-gay vigilantes that the Russian government refused to arrest.

Let me put it another way.  Let’s say someone invites you to dinner at their house.  But you’ve gotten wind that at some point during the meal, your host might have plans to arrest you, and then quite possibly beat and torture you.

Now, it’s bad enough that you have to ask the host if he plans to harm you during the dinner party.

But it’s even worse that it’s taking the host nearly three weeks to get back to you, and the answers he’s given to date have been, shall we say, “uncertain.”

Guess who’s not coming to dinner.

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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302 Responses to “BREAKING: Russia Interior Minister confirms Olympic athletes will be arrested at Sochi under anti-gay law”

  1. Nick the Rat says:

    Russia is not anti gay

  2. Christopher Steven says:

    What I don’t understand is that it’s 2013 and people say this is the generation of progress and acceptance yet places that are so conservative like Russia fight against it. The analogy John used about how would you feel about someone inviting you to dinner without confirming they won’t try to kill you was perfect.

    I understand being conservative and not necessarily agreeing with homosexual’s actions and choices but, when you put lives in danger that’s when it’s a problem.
    How can a government give power to such thugs to hurt people? That’s like if the government funded the crips or bloods in America it’s corrupt and wrong.

  3. Devlin says:

    Russia can’t be that dangerous…. Must I bring up Chernobyl?

  4. Devlin Wade says:

    Don’t forget, they’re killing gays for being gay in parts of Africa.

  5. Bart Falcone says:

    When I was at AT&T I was involved in a Union program called #CRASH (Creative Resistance and Systematic Harassment) One of the activities we encouraged was to “mess” with the processing of our bills. Billing is so hyper automated that anytime you can throw a monkey wrench into the process it really becomes a hassle to find the problem and then Manually fix it. There are several ways to do this. One is if you’re bill is 100$ write a check for $99.97 and tap 3 pennies to it. (write Boycott Sochi in the memo. Another way would be to write #BoycottSochi across the “routing numbers” on the check or the bill (or both). This would work better (IMHO) against companies like #VISA than, say, a Boycott. Just my two cents.

  6. Butch1 says:

    Aren’t those some big heroes to worship? What asses and an embarrassment to their country! It takes too big thugs to pick on a small gay teen. Wow, I’m really impressed . . . yawn . . . cowards. I wish I was about forty years younger and in the same room with these two, they wouldn’t be smiling and they would be minus two thumbs. When I was a young adult they wouldn’t be doing this to me or my friends. We could fight back. As a Vietnam vet these punks wouldn’t be playing this game with us I can assure you that. I am furious at the moment and there is nothing we can do about it.

    Move the damned Olympics for goodness sake and give the Russians the black eye they deserve.

  7. sdguppy says:

    The IOC must immediately find a different venue or cancel the games all together. This is horrifying.

  8. Derpless says:

    I’m living in Russia. I can assure you: it’s not a first world nation. It’s not even because of poverty of 80% of our citizens but because human rights are non-existent here.

  9. Jely Wine says:

    This is insane! They will put a person in jail for expressing who they are, it is an apparent violation of human rights.


  10. DAVE says:


  11. arsailman1 says:

    I heard Vancouver is ready and able and willing to host the games. Maybe the IOC will now move the games…

  12. Glen Scutt says:

    Now, now, everyone. 50 years ago things were not much better here in the United States. Let us think outside the box. Split the Olympics with those not caring to deal with homophobes competing in a more civilized country, like England or the United States. Medals would be awarded overall, between the two venues. Makes everybody happy, comfortable. And, eventually (in a generation or two) the Russians will wise up, just like many Christians and a few Muslims already have.

  13. Paul M says:

    How is requesting that an Olympic venue offer safety and security to all, “American Propaganda”? How is this simple request for dignity and integrity, “American Propaganda”?

    Hint: It isn’t.

  14. verra-fy says:

    the hell are we gonna do, start nuclear World War 3?

  15. tyrtyrot says:

    So we should reward them instead? If a child is told they are going to have a big ol’ ice cream sundae, and then they push their sibling down the stairs with a gleeful smile on their face, should the child be given the sundae or sent to the corner and denied their dessert? True, the child may end up blaming the sibling they pushed for being a crybaby and getting them in trouble, but they’ll also figure out that doing naughty things makes the grown-ups mad and take the ice cream away.

    Now, just the punishment is not enough to correct the child’s wavering moral compass, I realize that. If the child is not properly taught why their actions were bad, all they’ll learn is to get the ice cream first before they shove their sibling down stairs, and we don’t want that to be the lesson learned. So it’s not enough to say we should move the Olympics -take away the ice cream- we need to teach tolerance and acceptance, so they understand why the world does not want to reward such views and actions.

  16. Phillip Leonard says:

    They should boycott the winter Olympics in Russia and have it some where else and not all Russians are crazy kidnappers but their president is a crazy mad dictator who will be the death of Russia. Its so sad because Russia is such beautiful place but it has been a dangerous place to visit for a long time.

  17. Naja pallida says:

    Reading through the IOC rules, I don’t see any mention of any kind of time limit. Just that a city has to fill out a questionnaire, prove it’s capable of hosting the Games, and then be chosen by the committee. It’s just tradition that it moves each time, mainly in the name of political fairness. They tend to alternate between east and west too.

    There’s always a back up city, usually the previous host or the runner-up for the bidding. Some place with existing facilities. Back in 2004 Athens was way behind in their preparation for the Games and the IOC threatened to move them to Sydney again (the previous host) if they didn’t get back on schedule. Denver, Colorado successfully bid for the winter Olympics of 1976, but the state had a referendum and voters chose to withdraw funding for it, and they were then moved to Innsbruck, Austria, which had hosted in 1964. So there is plenty of precedent for moving the games if necessary, and no real restriction who can host. They just have strict benchmarks for a city to prove they will be capable of meeting the extensive infrastructure and manpower demands of the Games.

  18. Nick the Rat says:

    american propaganda

  19. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Perhaps there are such rules, but God didn’t come down from on high and etched them in stone. Men made the rules, and men can change them. Not so long ago, the rule was that the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics were held in the same year. Humans control the rules, the rules shouldn’t control us. If there is an important reason to change the rules, they should be changed.

  20. Jordan Olling says:

    I’m having trouble finding information on IOC rules, but I have a feeling that there’s a period of time during which a city isn’t allowed to host the games again. Besides, cities are chosen many years in advance.

  21. Frank Mire says:

    Even if Russia says “no, we’re not going to arrest, kidnap and torture Olympic athletes and guests during the Sochi Games”, don’t you think they might just be saying that and once everyone arrives things will be no different. There is potential for so much to go down. Something to keep in mind, the Russians don’t give a f#$k what the rest of the world thinks, they never have, and i don’t think they will for a long time.

  22. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    What does that have to do with the price of tomatoes in Illinois?

  23. Jordan Olling says:

    Vancouver already hosted the Winter games very recently.

  24. Jacki East says:

    Those pics of that poor teenager have broken my heart. How can this not cause worldwide outrage? I don’t care if you’re a bigot – if you are also a human being you cannot condone this. There are people being killed, including young teenagers, in Russia just for being gay. No civilised country should ignore this.

  25. Stephen says:

    Dude, FUCK Russia. If Russia is going to enforce these idiotic laws and endanger professional athletes and visitors to their nation, the government is putting on a show of putrid and disgusting morals.

  26. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Quite for real. My original comment was concern for human beings. You said that was an American centric view. Apparently, worrying about human beings is only an American worry. At least it is in your view. You are placing Europe’s energy needs over the lives of human beings.

    Gay athletes may well have their lives in danger. The Russian vigilantes have shown that they are capable of some horrible actions. I’m old enough to remember Munich. If you are not, google the Munich Olympics.I also remember the impact The Front Runner had on me when I was just a callow youth. You act as if there is not a gay, European athlete. I have a hard time believing that. However, if it is so, can’t you find some compassion for other gay athletes.

    Most Americans (Canada, United States, Mexico) have enough compassion to see that Europe’s lights do not go out. You do realize that Russia needs to sell its oil? It’s important to its economy. They may have an embargo for a few months, but they will have to give in eventually.

    Russia is behaving like a bully. If you believe that only Russia can meet your energy needs, you are allowing yourself to be bullied.

    You have no problem painting all Americans with a broad stroke. It would be very unforgivable of me to base my opinion of Europeans on your statements.

  27. Jeremy Steele says:

    We can’t move the games. It would cause more separation, and isolation with Russia. Whether anyone likes it or not, the games will be held there. We can’t alienate Russia for these acts because it will only empower their stance on anti-gay laws. It’s not a simple childish matter of ignoring them, and taking things away to make them just say, “Oh well I guess we were wrong, lets stop being anti-gay.” They would blame gay people if we moved the games.

  28. Robert Robinson says:

    Your a moron, everything you say on this thread, is childlike and stupid.

  29. Joseph Blow says:

    You’re right, HowThingsWork. Your lights are SO much more important than anything else in the world. Feh.

  30. Joseph Blow says:

    Kissing or holding hands with a member of the same sex can be regarded as promoting homosexuality to minors. The games need to move.

  31. HowThingsWork says:

    You for real?

  32. Thom Allen says:

    If you want to actually try to do something, look at the following. Here’s a list of petitions you can sign, sponsors of the Olympics with phone and e-mail contacts you can voice your displeasure to. The US Dept of State, Russian Embassy, IOC, USOC, email for Vladimir Putin, etc. Send a short e-mail, make a phone call, in some cases you can send a fax. Then copy and paste into an e-mail and share with your friends and on social websites.

    US Olympic Committee [email protected] [email protected]
    or call the main number at 719-632-5551

    IOC Press Office [email protected] +41 21 621 6000
    Dr. Jacques Rogge
    Château de Vidy
    Case postale 356
    1001 Lausanne
    +41 21 621 61 11
    +41 21 621 62 16

    US Department of State
    Switchboard 202-647-4000

    Embassy of the Russian Federation

    2650 Wisconsin Ave., NW
    Washington, DC 20007
    Phone: (202) 298-5700


    2641 Tunlaw Rd., NW
    Washington, DC 20007
    Phone: (202) 939-8907

    [email protected]

    Russian Consulate in NY (212) 348-0926 Fax:(212) 831-9162

    Vladimir Putin
    23, Ilyinka Street,
    Moscow, 103132, Russia.

    NBC Olympics [email protected]

    NBC Sports [email protected]

    Olympics sponsors:

    Coca Cola

    Proctor and Gamble

    Samsung [email protected] (Samsung’s PR firm)
    Samsung support
    Samsung North American Contact Center
    Tel: 1800-SAMSUNG (726-7864)
    General Electric +1 203 373 2211
    Visa [email protected] (800) 847-2911

  33. Derek Green says:

    which one? The synchronized swimming or the ribbon twirling?

  34. Derek Green says:

    Really? THAT’S what you draw from the article? A glitch in their website’s content management system? *facepalm*

  35. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Only America has humans?

  36. HowThingsWork says:

    I am not saying that. The situation is tragic. Just pointing out, that there is a world out there and an American centric view is not going to help. You proved my point.

  37. Amy says:

    Why is this the text next to the picture, ”
    Send us your pet’s photo!
    Write to [email protected] with your pet’s photo, name and breed, your name and where you live (if you don’t mind them being published), and tell us something about your pet (goofy, touching, whatever you like), and we’ll include it in our Readers’ Pets archive and we might just write a post about it too! Make sure to put “pet” in the subject line.”


  38. Ri DeCarlo says:

    Learn the definition of the word pedophile if you’re going to use it Nashi. It’s any man or woman who preys on children, girls or boys. Statistics say they are mainly straight, ‘heterosexual’ people, and mainly, men. It’s also been proven in studies that children are actually happier when raised in a home with gay or lesbian parents. So drink your Russian vodka to that. America and it’s allies are going to #BoycottRussia. #BoycottEverythingRussian.

  39. Ri DeCarlo says:

    Key word is ‘percieved’ in Russia many ‘Western’ people are seen as ‘gay’ The clothes and colors we wear are different. I had straight friends visit Russia and wear white sunglasses, and got hostile stares from many older, grumpy, Russian men. People are mad in Russia, they didn’t get a chance to get the hell out of there, and now they have to LIVE there!

  40. Sean Sopata says:

    How long has it been again? And has there been an answer?

  41. Ri DeCarlo says:

    Daria, who’s willing to bet their lives or the lives of the people they love on that statement?

  42. Nathan Wolf says:

    The games should be moved – period. The competitors and spectators should be able to attend these games without the threat of arrest or torture. If Russia thinks their new law is worth the Countless International Incidents it my provoke – for the safety of all involved – Move the Games.

  43. Ri DeCarlo says:

    Me thinks there are going to be a lot of arrests and international drama. #BoycottRussia

  44. Richard says:

    It’s not too late to move the games to Vancouver. Russia and its Hitler wannabes need to be rejected by the entire world.

  45. Chijules says:

    Freedom in sexual relationships, in fact all human rights, is so well recognized world-wide that I think the only way for the IOC to show the games are really intended for fair and safe participation by all qualified athletes is to cancel their involvement in the Sochi games. If the Russians and anyone else uninterested in human rights wants to have a private games, let them, but the IOC should have no part of it.

  46. Naja pallida says:

    The local economy made a lot of money in tourist dollars, but if you consider the overall cost of the games, construction, infrastructure improvements, security, etc, estimates put them at somewhere around $2 billion in the hole, with tax payers responsible for most of it… but at least many of the facilities and improvements can continue to be used, so it wasn’t all a waste. Also, a good part of the reason for that was they didn’t budget adequately for the huge amount of security they ended up using.

  47. samthor says:

    if the athletes still want to go, let them. but do not send tourists. do not fill the hotels or restaurants. Do not buy the souvenirs. do not patronize the sponsors, or turn on the channel. the only way Russia and/or the IOC will understand that this is not okay, is if they lose money over it. the boycott must come from the spectator side.

  48. Thom Allen says:

    The translation doesn’t make much sense in English. Qualms? The police/government can deem anything “provocation.”

  49. Thom Allen says:

    What? Those noble russian neonazi skinheads? RAPING little girls? Abusing women? Anti-Jew and anti-Muslim? Racist? Hard to believe. /snark

  50. Whatever law exists should apply equally to straight people as to gay people. If it is illegal for gays to kiss, embrace and hold hands in the street, then it should be for straight people too.

  51. James Grayh says:

    The fact that you equate homosexuality with being a paedophile disgusts me.

    Wise up please, you’re taking up space that could otherwise be used for well-reasoned comments.

  52. Hank Kelly says:

    Nashi, America isn’t perfect. But, it’s not doing a Nazi type persecution of it’s gay citizens. What’s next? Requiring gays to wear pink triangles? Russia has become a hate filled, violent country run by the thug Putin. It doesn’t deserve the Olympics.

  53. Michael says:

    I hope every athlete whether gay or straight stands up and pronounces equality for all.
    Time to make a stand!!! What is the IOC gonna do???

  54. Michael says:

    It is a joke to think the world is sitting by, allowing the Russian government to carry out a gross violation of human rights! Just like the IOC did in the 30’s…. History unfortunately repeats!!

  55. Corey says:

    @Rescursivezen: words dont matter to these pigs, just like they don’t in the US when it comes to conservative Christians. The part of the quote you posted is actually very telling:

    “The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully.”

    When using such phrases as “to promote homosexuality to minors” that means if two gay people exchange a hug, a simple peck on the check or an affectionate glance at each other in public, ever the most innocent act by American standards, in Russia, tat is promoting homosexuality because you are acting as if your behavior is “normal” and children around you will ask their parents about it. In the US the argument is always about “what if children see it”, and this gets gays beat up, told they won’t be served food and other such things right here America. Two people don’t have to behaving sex in public to be perceived as a threat to children in the US, why would anyone think it would be different in a more hostile environment towards gays like in Russia. Along with that, wearing anything with a rainbow can be percieved as “disruptive” here in the US, I can only imagine what it would be considered in Russia.

  56. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Do you want to proofread that? The misspellings, word choices, and punctuation mistakes would indicate that you were hurrying. I’m really not certain what you are trying to say.

  57. Think_it_through says:

    Your right, human live are important, so you make the call, out the marginally small gay athlete population over the thousands killed across Europe due to people panicking,use your head.

  58. Flea says:

    The apostrophe is meant to be used on nouns to denote a possessive. Plurals are made by simply adding the -s to the end of the world.

    Seriously, I am never a grammar stickler, but your post just made me facepalm.

    As for its content however, you’re right on the money. Russia is finding a new way to be a scumbag country. They never stop. If it isn’t a Czar, it’s Stalin. If it isn’t Stalin, it’s Putin. Just a miserable bunch.

    Is it any wonder that people are always fleeing?

  59. Joenico says:

    It just seems like Russia simply can’t ever be a place that isn’t brutal and horrible. There really is something seriously wrong with that land and a lot of those people. They just can’t seem to ever come out of the dark ages. No wonder there are always thousands of people fleeing from it. Tzars, Soviets, and now these scumsuckers. It just never ends over there.

  60. Jeel says:

    When did Russia become a great country? There has never been a time in history when anyone actually wanted to live in that hell hole. Have you not noticed that people are always fleeing the place no matter who is in charge? It is a truly awful, nasty country.

    In the 90’s it looked like there was some hope but that’s all long gone now. They always fall back on this vicious, murderous tough guy nonsense no matter what the hell they do. If it wasn’t the tzars it was Stalin, and now it’s Putin. It’s a land of violent extremists and oppression. Always has been, and sadly it seems, always will be.

  61. Hoover says:

    Because there are probably a lot of right wing skinheads who do rape little girls. They don’t want to pick on their own kind!

  62. Thom Allen says:

    You are free to disagree. That still isn’t an excuse for ranging far afield from the topic of this thread. I could cite the footbinding of Chinese females from a century ago as discriminatory, mutilating, repressive. Yet any bearing that it has on this post is minimal at best.

    What we need to do is pressure the IOC, NBC, Coke, Proctor and Gamble, Smasung and the other Olympics sponsors to get the Olympics gone from russia. Not splinter the discussion off into less relevant issues as Ninotchka ofrwhatever the ex-soviet snake calls himself this time.

  63. recursivezen says:

    This post is untrue and intentionally deceptive.

    The very link in this AmericaBlog post to reference the Interior Ministry statement is to this RIA Novosti article.

    Actual Interior Ministry statement:

    “The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully.”

    “Any discussion on violating the rights of representatives of nontraditional sexual orientations, stopping them from taking part in the Olympic Games or discrimination of athletes and guests of the Olympics according to their sexual orientation is totally unfounded and contrived.”

  64. Bill_Perdue says:

    I disagree.

    Democrats and Republicans dislike it when I link their bigotry to their mad dog warmongering and union busting. For example, for leftists the Clinton’s rabid anti-gay homophobia, documented on this blog time after time, is inextricably linked to Bill Clintons murder of half a million Iraqi children, his backing of NAFTA and the deregulation laws that created the current depression, his gutting of welfare and his addition to the creation of a police by funding 200,000 new cops.

    They’re linked by the same factor that links the policies of Putin, the Bushes and Obama – all are paid by the rich to administer governments that make the rich richer and working people poorer.

  65. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Oh, you’re so right. Gas and oil, and ultimately money, is so much more important than human lives.

  66. Thom Allen says:

    Great article. Thanks.

  67. HowThingsWork says:

    The world does not revolve around America. Europe is dependent on Russia’s Gas and oil and if they boycott the lights go out. Try to think for a change..

  68. Thom Allen says:

    They clearly are off topic on this thread. Even more so when the russian neonazi uses them to deflect the discussion away from what needs to be discussed. Very much similar to what the republicons do. Fail to address the issues that they’re called out on instead, bringing other information, often only tangentially related, into the discussion.

  69. Bill_Perdue says:

    Our targets should be NBC/Comcast, Coke, McDonalds and other bigot enablers and funders.

  70. Bill_Perdue says:

    ” It is entirely focused on kids.” Just like DOMA was only focused on saving striaght marriages from some unnamed horror.

  71. Bill_Perdue says:

    The number of victims was much larger. “According to the declassified Soviet archives, during 1937 and 1938, the NKVD detained 1,548,366 victims, of whom 681,692 were shot – an average of 1,000 executions a day…” wiki

    Criticisms of bigots like Putin, the Clintons’, Obama and the Bushes are never off topic. Nor is information that illustrate the relationship between their bigotry and their other crimes like warmongering and union busting.

  72. Bill_Perdue says:

    It was well over a million in both Iraq and Vietnam. But that doesn’t excuse the new Russian anti-gays laws, which are as bad for us as DOMA, or the Putin government’s collusion with anti-gay thugs.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Apparently they aren’t above erasing the “gayness” of greats from history. A lot of common Russians equate being gay with poor moral character. So as long as someone doesn’t seem like a nasty pedo, they could never be gay. I just read this article and it was pretty enlightening:

  74. Thom Allen says:

    Learn russian? Waste my time learning a language used by racists, bigots and idiots? Stupid national socialist nashi. and, again, you’re off topic. The focus here is on russian repression, violence against LGBTQs, the IOC and the Olympics. I know it’s hard for an asshole like you to stay focused. Maybe it’s the long history of inbreeding in your family. Or perhaps all that Stoli has affected your brain.

    BTW, since so many russian greats were GAY PEDOPHILES (Tchaikovsky, Nijinsky and others) are they going to be “erased” from russian history? Can’t play that music or show those dances around kids. Can’t let the kids read about them. Or will the repressive russian government develop a fantasy history in which they are straight?

  75. Thom Allen says:

    nashi, you are a dolt. Those companies buy grains and alcohol from mother(fucker)russia. Therefore, money flows into the Russian economy from those sales. You see, cerebrally challenged nashi? I’m trying to make it simple for you to understand. Though it may be impossible to make it THAT simple. Stoli’s headquarters is in Luxembourg, and it’s bottled in Latvia, stupid nashi. But the grains and alcohol are russian. And Stoli IS owned by a russian, Mendeleev. you could find all of this out if you accessed the Stoli website (among others). Of course, you’re access may be blocked by Rats Putin’s technocrats. I understand Moscow has lots of restrictions, even on its non-gay citizens, as does the rest of mother(fucker) russsia and its neonazis, like you. BTW, is “nashi” a russian acronym for “national socialist?”

  76. BeccaM says:

    Or analogies, comparisons, or similies.

  77. BeccaM says:

    Shoo, child-troll.

  78. BeccaM says:

    I think we knew this was coming.

  79. RyansTake says:

    John — the IOC is now saying it will penalize any athletes who speak out or demonstrate against Russia’s policies in anyway.

    It is time to go after US Sponsors of the Olympics, so they cease their sponsorship, and de-fund this whole thing.

  80. gltoffic says:

    That is why Russia does not mind skin heads torturing gay people?? That is not just protecting children. That is showing the basic absolute barbarity of the Russian people. They have not become civilized and do not deserved to be treated or respected as such.
    The sooner that vast Majority of Russians die of old age the sooner the land will be a barren wasteland that China can then take over.

  81. Anonymous says:

    “Think of the children” when fostering a hostile, hateful environment. And “think of Jesus” when condemning people according to the Bible. Yep, great arguments…they never get old.

  82. Ninong says:

    I think “from” is the operative word. No one stays there if they have the chance to get out, right, Nashi?

  83. Ninong says:

    Why should we learn Russian when all the younger educated Russians speak English, just like all the younger educated Europeans?

  84. Ninong says:

    You can’t be gay if you work for Aeroflot. That’s why they forced 25-yr-old flight attendant Maxim Kupreev to marry a woman if he wanted to keep his job. He did. It’s a sham marriage but at least she gets to buy tickets on Aeroflot for only 10% of the regular fare.

  85. Dandru says:

    In other words, you’re a bigoted idiot with a tiny penis. Thanks for making that clear.

  86. Ninong says:

    Yes, because Communism worked out so well, right, Nashi?

  87. Ninong says:

    Nashi, if you’re talking about the picture of those gay bartenders in New York pouring liquid from Russian vodka bottles onto the street for that photo op, that wasn’t vodka, it was water.

  88. pricknick says:

    Screw the olympics. Just another gladiator sport.

  89. Ninong says:

    I promised to boycott Russian cars. Come to think of it, even the Russian generals boycott Russian cars, which is why Putin issued an order that they can no longer use their special general’s license plates (which allow them unlimited parking anywhere) on fancy BMW’s, Audi’s, Porsches and other un-Russian cars. Haha!

    Must be embarrassing when you have to issue an order telling your generals to stop putting their privileged license plates on German luxury cars. Actually it applies to any foreign luxury cars, not just BMW, Audi and Porsche. I just named them because they seem especially popular with Russian military brass. What’s wrong with Zil?

  90. Ninong says:

    Haha! Don’t let Uncle Vlad hear you saying that. He thinks Stoli and Russian Standard and the 43 other brands of Russian vodka that Yuri bought for $300,000 in 1997 are actually the property of the Russian Federation, and he got a Moscow Court to rule in his favor and then just last year the Hague Court of Appeal upheld that verdict.

    Apparently Little Vlad still thinks Stoli is part of the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture. Why is Vlad out to get all those guys like Yuri who made out like bandits while Yeltsin was just getting drunk all the time?

    So tell me, Nashi, why does the Stoli sold in Russia still say Russian Vodka on the label but the Stoli sold outside Russia dropped that from the label? Is it true that all the wheat for Stoli still comes from the same fields in Russia owned by Stoli?

  91. Ninong says:

    It’s focused on kids because the idiot Russians actually believe that being gay is a mental sickness that can be acquired. Like Iran, they think that if the younger generation doesn’t hear anything positive about “non-traditional sexual relations,” they won’t acquire this “mental sickness.”
    Anything contrary to that idiocy is considered “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations,” and a crime under Russian law.

  92. Rob Dowdy says:

    Ah, so they see it as a disease, and those who “carry” it are afflicted?

    That makes perfect sense, right, because I know any time I see someone who is terribly ill I always make a videotape of myself tormenting them and humiliating them, then I pour a bunch of urine on them while I and all my friends laugh about it.

    Then they always feel much better and are totally cured.

  93. Rob Dowdy says:

    Well, in all fairness, the US worked very hard to manipulate the USSR into Afghanistan and were more than happy to arm and support a certain Afghani freedom fighter (that’s what we call terrorists who are killing the right people) named Osama bin Laden in his fight to reclaim his homeland from those nasty commies …

  94. Rob Dowdy says:

    And I’m against arrogant stupidity but I don’t think you should be jailed or assaulted for it. Just having to live that way is punishment enough, I suppose.

  95. Clevelandchick says:

    Obvious troll is obvious. And not very bright. You might want to stand for a bit so your brain can get some blood and oxygen.

  96. MikePopovici says:

    Haha Im against gay so GOOOOOD.. Not the Kidnapping but the banning the gays in the Olympics.

  97. Clevelandchick says:

    How many people did your country kill during it’s 10 years in Afghanistan?

  98. samwolf78 says:

    Im a Veteran. Iraq, the US Government and the American Military have nothing to do with this issue. How dare you insult my service to my country. Your country is the one locking up and allowing neo nazis to torture children because of the way they were born. My country isnt perfect but were far more civilized than you bloody red commy’s.

  99. zombiecarp2 says:

    that is not a fact. you’re believing what your government wants you to believe. Your mind is weak and easily corrupted.

  100. Clevelandchick says:

    Uh, no honey, you’re wrong. Most pedophilia is committed by straight men against little girls. Your country is very infamous for it’s human trafficking of young girls.

  101. zombiecarp2 says:

    do you really want to go toe-to-toe on which country is the bigger Asshole when it comes to abuses of rights through history??? I guarantee you Russia loses that game.

  102. Clevelandchick says:

    LOL…what was Russia doing in Afghanistan for 10 years again?

  103. Clevelandchick says:

    You are incredibly naive.

  104. Monoceros Forth says:

    You do realize that screaming, “Oh, Lord, won’t someone think of the children!!” has never been a good justification for a bad law.

  105. Clevelandchick says:

    Canada supplies most American oil…we don’t even use Russian or Saudi oil, that mostly goes to China. So boycotting Russia is a very easy thing to do.

  106. zombiecarp2 says:

    how can you seriously believe this has anything to do with protecting children when these laws have just empowered bullies and bigots to go around torturing teenagers (i.e., CHILDREN) for their sexual orientation?

  107. Rob Dowdy says:

    Is Riyadh hosting the Olympics? I hadn’t heard about that!

  108. Rob Dowdy says:

    Well, in our defense, Russia doesn’t exactly produce a lot of things that Americans would want to buy, so it’s a fairly difficult country to boycott. Borscht, I guess? I dunno. I never really liked beets anyway.

  109. Rob Dowdy says:

    Why would a law protecting children from pedophiles even need to mention gay people? That makes no logical, scientific, empirical sense given the fact that pedophilia and homosexuality are no more or less linked than pedophilia and heterosexuality.

    Please enlighten us as to the scientific rationale behind this law, which you seem to have read and become expert on, so that we may learn from your glorious Russian example how better to protect our own children here at home.

  110. Cassie says:

    Guys please, sign this and spread the awareness. We might as well try to get Olympics relocated.

  111. Rob Dowdy says:

    Let’s say this: you’re right. The US isn’t perfect, we stipulate that.

    We could have another discussion about everything wrong with the US — and it would be a very long, sad discussion — but at the moment we are talking about a very specific issue regarding the country of Russia and its treatment of foreign gays during the international (not Russian) Olympic Games, which Russia is fortunate enough to be allowed to host, a privilege countries fight for and must (presumably) earn.

    To say that this specific instance of cruelty and discrimination on the part of the Russian government is not relevant because bad things are happening elsewhere in the world is a total cop-out. It is this kind of thinking that excuses everything and demands accountability for nothing.

    America has problems. Russia has problems. All countries have problems, all cities do, all families do, and all individuals as well. Because none of those entities are perfect in their own selves they should stand silent before all manner of atrocity, by your logic. What a world that would be!

    So, we are not perfect, but in this instance we are discussing one of Russia’s problems. To say that the problem cannot be addressed because the rest of the world isn’t perfect is … perfectly nihilistic. It gives everyone everywhere the excuse to do as they like because “everything is shit.” And while it might comfort despots and common thugs to behave as if that was true, it leaves the rest of us to wallow in a world of cruelty and willful blindness to the way we treat others and the way others are treated in our names.

    So, yes, America has problems. We aren’t perfect. No one is. But to say that our lack of perfection precludes us from taking offense to anything, ever, is just monumentally destructive.

    You seem to presume that we — I, as an American — are not horrified by drone strikes on civilians. That’s not true. I abhor the thought of innocents being slaughtered in my name. If this was an article about drone strikes I would be the first to agree with you that murdering children in school is vile and evil and contrary to everything I stand for.

    I find the notion of detaining people indefinitely without due process abhorrent.

    I view unilaterally invading sovereign nations and deposing their leaders, especially when leaving such chaos and bloodshed and horror in our wake, as deeply repugnant.

    We could talk for hours about how horrible and evil each of those things is and lots more besides.

    But you know what? This is an article about institutionalized hatred and bigotry in Russia. That’s what we’re discussing today. It doesn’t make any of those other things less important, merely less immediately relevant to the topic at hand.

    So why can’t we talk about it? Doing things your way, no one ever makes any progress at all.

  112. BeccaM says:

    Gay people do not endanger children, nor does knowing gay people harm them.

    Only ignorant bigots believe that. I guess you’re in common company then.

  113. Zay says:

    Yes the US army in Iraq has been detrimental. So, here and now we have the chance to stop a genocide as it begins. I get what you are arguing, how can one nation order and claim to protect “rights” while another fails to do so. Sadly you are missing the point of your own argument. “Protect the children” how? by killing them, by attacking innocent people, by stripping people of their humanity?
    You are a blind coward, any Anti-Gay vigilante is a monster. If you have enough hate in your heart to harm a child then I must apologize that God, Society, the Universe, and the powers beyond life and death have utterly failed you. The only mistake God made was granting bigots life.

  114. Joe_HTH says:

    You’re an idiot and a swine. Children are not in any danger from gays. They’re probably in more danger around straight people. You couldn’t be any dumber if you tried. You homophobic idiot.

  115. Joe_HTH says:

    What does that have to do with anything. Chechnya and Afghanistan ring a bell where Russia is concerned. You have no room to talk.

  116. Joe_HTH says:

    Keep making excuses, meanwhile lets talk about Chechnya and the illegal war Russia started in Afghanistan. You really need to shut up.

  117. Joe_HTH says:

    America has far fewer problems and is an infinitely better country than Russia, which is run by the Russian mafia.

  118. Nashi says:

    Boycott Russian oil. Only Saudi Arabia produces more and the Saudis kill gays. So, boycott all oil and just walk. Have fun.

  119. Nashi says:

    Haha…You fools dumped vodka from a company in Denmark! That is right. Stoli is not owned by Russians. That was a funny one though.

  120. Bill_Perdue says:

    and NBC, especially NBC

  121. Rob Dowdy says:

    Which would really teach them, right? Until the neo-Nazi thugs decided to make a videotape of themselves tormenting you, pouring urine all over you, and treating you like a subhuman monster while the cops shrugged and said, “Try not being a filthy, child-raping homo if you don’t want this to happen to you.”

    Then you’d just, you know, suffer extreme humiliation and possible physical injury and there wouldn’t be anything you could do about it except try not to get killed.

  122. Naja pallida says:

    Thank you for articulating something that I’m sure many of us have been thinking, but not expressing clearly to the naysayers. Hosting the Games is a privilege granted to a nation, and they should treat anyone participating as an honored guest, not threatening to arrest them for being there.

  123. Aussie says:

    Russia doesn’t deserve the honour of hosting the Olympics or any international event. Full stop.

  124. _ says:

    Are you from Russia?

  125. Thom Allen says:

    Tell Coca Cola to withdraw their support from the Games, along with Proctor and Gamble, Marriott, Samsung and all of the others.

  126. Thom Allen says:

    Wrong again. The State Department didn’t do much till the dump Russian vodka movement started a groundswell. I’m sure that, when you grew up in russia you learned to believe their propaganda implicitly without thinking about what it really meant.

  127. Thom Allen says:

    Wrong again. Read the statistics and learn. Most pedophile cases (>90%) involve straight men. Pedophilia and homosexuality are two different things. Why aren’t the skinheads beating up pedophiles that rape little girls? THAT’S crazy.

  128. Nashi says:

    Learn Russian. Read the legislation. It is entirely focused on kids. The State Department is only doing this to put pressure on Russia. It is a game they play with Russia and China all the time. At the Games in China the issue was Tibet.

  129. Nashi says:

    No, most pedophiles go to little boys. You know it. Calling me a pedophile because I support a law that protects children is crazy. You are the one who wants children to see things they are not ready for.

  130. Thom Allen says:

    Like Stalin who “purged” hundreds of thousands? But we’re off topic. What you posted has nothing to do with this thread.

  131. Nashi says:

    Russians don’t tell Americans that they are savages for starting illegal wars. They don’t preach to you. Learn Russian and read the law. It is to protect children. This only makes American gays look like pedophiles. You can still have gay orgies and watch gay porn all you want in Russia. You can’t market your gay porn where a child might see it! How can any person have a problem with that?

  132. Thom Allen says:

    Who says they’re pedophiles? You? You have personal experience with pedophilia? From the receiving END or the GIVING end? BTW, the majority of pedophiles are straight “men” like you.

  133. Nashi says:

    Like America which is responsible for the death of around 125,000 women and children in Iraq. You know that illegal war.

  134. Thom Allen says:

    The subject is the Russian repression of human rights and the Olympics being held there. Changing the subject adds nothing to the conversation. You’re just tyring to deflect from the original issue.

  135. Nashi says:

    You mean a law that protects children from gay pedophiles? If you don’t know Russian you can’t read the legislation.

  136. Hank Kelly says:

    Give Russia the finger and tell them to shove it. Only a civilized country deserves the Olympics.

  137. Nashi says:

    Yep, like when they illegally invaded Iraq. Killing over 125,000 women and children. Ooops. That was your country.

  138. Nashi says:

    The Olympics will not be moved. Go worry about drones, Snowden, Bradley Manning, illegal wars, Gitmo, etc. Your America needs to take care of its own problems.

  139. Michael Quimby says:

    very good idea! And do not let them compete!

  140. Jeff_Selbst says:

    The reason for the three-week delay is obvious when you think about it: the Russians want to drag their feet to the point where it is no longer feasible to move the Olympics elsewhere.

  141. REALrenovato says:

    I cant think why anybody thinks Rainbow flags will get anywhere beyond the airport at Sochi, like any international event the security before the event will be strict with bag searches. Mind you that could be a news issue the Russian security are not renowned for finnesse.
    Just a thought, do rainbow stripped ties count? How about colored face paint crayons?

  142. TheLump says:

    Problem is it’s already a scandal. They’ve already taken it to that point.

  143. Thom Allen says:

    But didn’t Canada make some big bucks from the Olympics?

  144. Anonymous says:

    Russia made its bed with its bizarre penal system. As this site mentions, hate speech or protesting gets you a few years. However, beating someone up, kidnapping, being in a gang, etc. aren’t a problem. They ignore the red flags and act surprised that the country is out of control.

  145. Thom Allen says:

    They;re not protecting their own people now from violence from skinhead gangs. The police are anti-LGBTQs and the street thugs love giving a good bashing and recording it. I don’t think Russia can control it or protect anyone who is perceived as gay.

  146. Daria says:

    I’m hot naive, I just belive that Russia is senseble enough to protect the athletes properly during the Games

  147. AlaninMontreal says:

    As a Canadian, allow me to say that we’ve already paid for the Vancouver Olympics once through our taxes. Let someone else pay for the IOC’s circus this time. Charge the costs to Russia!

  148. samwolf78 says:

    The Olympics committee should be cancelling Sochi and hosting the games somewhere else. I would think that ensuring the safety of all the competitors would be a requirement to host the games. Its obvious that Russia isnt willing to do that. They wont protect there own people why would they give a damn about anyone else.

  149. Rick says:

    Not true. There was plenty of snow on the slopes this past winter.

  150. not as dumb as tony says:

    The IOC chose the site of the 2014 games long before this law was passed.

  151. Anonymous says:

    It’s a combination of ignorance and intolerant values, which are taught. Even the US and Europe had human rights problems in the 30s and 40s. They are like a country stuck in that time. They are taught that corruption, violence, and bullying is normal.

  152. samwolf78 says:

    Thats incredibly naive thinking. If I were a gay Olympian or the family or friend of one I would be scarred to death and be considering not going.

  153. Thom Allen says:

    mark, you are a russian (deliberate use of lower case here) nationalist plant. Go preach to the Westboro Baptist Church.

  154. Rick says:

    It’s clear now that the Winter Olympics must either be moved to Vancouver or canceled.

  155. BeccaM says:

    ‘Russia’ wouldn’t do that.

    Some of its neo-Nazi citizenry would be happy to do so. And they’re eager to create anti-gay scandals, as judged by how readily they will kidnap, beat, torture, and sometimes murder gay people — and then post the evidence on YouTube and VK (their version of Facebook).

    Don’t be naive.

  156. chet manly says:

    You’re right it does have the right to its own laws, just like the IOC has the right to move the games, just like athletes who support LGBT issues have the right to boycott, and just like Olympic committees of various countries have the right to boycott the games because of human rights issues. The thing is most people are not trying to force Russia to change their laws, but trying to send the message that if you have these laws we will choose not to add to your economy by traveling

  157. Thom Allen says:

    Hardly “similar” laws (not rules). Gay “exposure” is punishable by death? You mean like they flashed their weenies? I don’t think that your writing reflects the fact that you have English as a second language, I think it reflects on your political ideology.

  158. James Grayh says:

    Personally, I would like the IOC to give Russia the ultimatum that they either rescind their discriminatory laws or the winter games simply not be held at all.

  159. James Grayh says:

    I don’t believe, either, that Russia would kidnap & torture the colleague countries’ athletes, as this would have huge political ramifications. However, they have said in their very own indisputable words that at the sign of ANY “pro-gay” behaviour the ‘offending’ athlete or media journo will be jailed. This is a political statement in itself, let alone how ridiculously ancient the homophobia it stems from is.

  160. Thom Allen says:

    If Russia wants to suppress and discriminate against LGBTQs, in direct contravention to IOC rules, the Olympics have no place in Russia and need to be moved.

  161. Thom Allen says:

    Even if homosexuality WERE caused by a virus or was a form of mental illness, the solution is not to beat/imprison/or kill those affected. That kind of reaction has less to do with education and more to do with ingrained behaviors.

    The Russians have access to education, as well. And internet access, though that may be somewhat limited.

  162. Daria says:

    Even if I don’t agree with this anti-gay law, I think saying, that Russia is going to kidnap and torture the athletes is insane. Do you really think that a country like Russia will let this happen? Nothing bad is going to happen because nobody in Russia wants a scandal.

  163. qixpoet says:

    It sickened me that a great country like Russia is ruled by homophobia people.

    They might as well go back to be communist again!

  164. Lehmann108 says:

    I’m not gay or an olympic athlete, but if I was, I’d so fucking rock those olympics. Hey Russia, FUCK YOU!!!

  165. Guest says:

    Oh, this won’t create an international incident….NOT!

  166. Tom Chicago says:

    Well, this is finally a definitive, brutal acknowledgement of what the IOC has been so appeasing and mealy-mouthed about. I’d never urge an athlete to go to a Russian jail, It is a very sad time for all athletes, including gay athletes, as a new Iron Curtain comes down. Apparently, this is what Russia wants for herself, and I sense that the odor of church incense is contributing to the miasma.

  167. Corey says:

    I’m all for a new cold war

  168. Thom Allen says:

    Not at all too late. It’s still 6 months away.

  169. Thom Allen says:

    The Olympics has been stained a number of times in the past. In that respect, this is nothing new for them. What the IOC says it does, vs what it does is often vastly different. See the IOC’s “Principles of Olympism.” It clearly states that there should be no discrimination involved in the Olympics. It should have acted and moved the Olympics as soon as Putin signed the repressive LGBTQ law. It’s only reacting now to public pressure that started, not with the anti-LGBTQ beatings and arrests in Russia, but with the vodka boycott.

  170. magster says:

    Lillehammer, Norway however….? I’m down with your concept, just went on a tangent about another issue near and dear to me.

  171. You can ski in Greece.

  172. Shane says:


  173. magster says:

    Thanks to global warming, it doesn’t snow there anymore. If it was like that 4 years ago, it’s probably even worse now.

  174. Anonymous says:

    Because they do not understand homosexuality, and many think it’s a virus or mental illness. We have many bigots here too. Those in the US have access to education and free media, and they still believe the same things.

  175. Rexreg says:

    one word…Vancouver
    Vancouver hosted the last winter olympics & already has facilities in place
    if the world/IOC wants to make a statement, this is the opportunity

  176. Michael Raymond Gall says:

    This is becoming more and more Naziest, if u see some of the video’s the Russian’s have posted of what laws they want past, u would find it overwelmengly like pre-Nazi germany. Russian’s are starting to talk about a “Race” to Overpower everyone there. Alot of people are blind to the red flag’s of what is becoming of Russia.

  177. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think he understands context at all.

  178. John Edgerton says:

    You do realize what “like” means, right? He never said it WAS 1939, only that it was like events in Germany in 1939.

  179. Michael Raymond Gall says:

    So are u saying Germany had a right to see fit for there laws to kill millions and millions of people?

  180. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable. And I had someone on here (nationality unknown) arguing that Russians have free speech already. They said that police investigate all these crimes, so anyone suggesting a coverup is a nutjob.

    The police are not impartial – they see these “Okupaj” guys as heroes, so they look the other way. Anyone can say they’re a “vigilante” for attacking atheists, protestors, gays, etc. The police will celebrate it along with the common people. Most people are in favor of bullying and beating anyone that defies social mores.

  181. Moribund Cadaver says:

    It’s simple. If the games are not postponed and moved, regardless of the cost involved, then the Olympics will be historically stained. It will have been proven that sponsorship and money are more important than the allegedly humanitarian ethic of the Olympic Games themselves.

    At the same time, this publicity is probably a good thing in the long run. Russia’s current anti-gay activity is utterly shameful for a first world nation. But many or most don’t realize it’s the canary in a mineshaft for even bigger problems from Russia. The real reason homophobia is being institutionalized and encouraged by the government and media in Russia is due to a crusade for nationalism. Gays are being branded agents and infiltrators of foreign governments and by “defeating” gays patriotic Russians are “defeating” invading foreign tyranny. This attitude will soon spill into even more of Russia’s politics and culture.

  182. Anonymous says:

    So much for the “Olympic charter.” They probably wipe their ass with it.

  183. tony greene says:

    I was hoping to remind the person that replied to me. They said it was 1939 again.

  184. usagi says:

    Holy… So Archie comics is out in front of the IOC, the US Olympic Committee (who is where we should really be concentrating some of the fire about just how they’re planning to keep our athletes safe in Stoli), and pretty much everyone else.

    When asked whether he agreed with and supported a boycott of Russia, Parent instantly replied “Yes. Russia should be boycotted, so much so that actually in an upcoming special four issue story arch I’m writing the Archie gang are going to take a world tour to four countries. Russia was to be one of them. But they’re not going there now.”

  185. tony greene says:

    Do you think the IOC weren’t aware of the Russian laws? You can’t understand that the IOC just like the UN is not a “governing” body. I don’t consider myself a citizen of the UN.
    I am a citizen of the United States.

  186. Rob Dowdy says:

    Same sex marriage is legal in many countries. As the national host of the GLOBAL Olympic games, it is incumbent upon Russia to respect the laws and traditions of their guests. That’s kinda the whole point of the Games, the coming together of all nations in peace to celebrate human athletic accomplishment. Russia is saying that a man from New Zealand and his LEGALLY MARRIED partner are not welcome at an event they are hosting, in part, FOR New Zealand. Or Britain. Or … you get the point.

    Russa is being ALLOWED to host the Olympics on behalf of all countries. These are not the “Russian Olympic Games” they are the “World Olympic Games” being (not so) graciously hosted by Russia, an honor and a privilege for the host country. For them to unilaterally decide to ignore the laws of ALL OTHER PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES to suit their own legal and political agenda is pretty much the height of arrogance and flies in the face of everything the Olympics is meant to represent.

    It’s really quite simple.

  187. Rob Dowdy says:

    Have you not seen the videos of hundreds, even thousands, of average, everyday Russians assaulting and terrorizing anyone who tries to have a gay rights parade or protest? And of the cops doing absolutely nothing? “Have your parade,” the politicians actually say, “but the police will not be there that day.” It’s not just the politicians, it’s cultural and widespread.

  188. Rob Dowdy says:

    Exactly. Plus it just doesn’t matter whether Russia decides to look the other way or not.

    How can gay athletes or straight athletes with gay family members there supporting them be expected to maintain their focus while wondering if the gestapo is about to show up at any second?

    And then there’s the whole notion of going and being somewhere you’re so obviously not wanted.

    People who say, “Just go do your thing, they’ll leave you alone because the world is watching,” should really think about what they’re actually suggesting. Imagine telling a young black man, “This Klan rally is being streamed to the Web, they don’t dare lynch you with the world watching. Mingle, have fun, do your thing. Go on now, have a nice time.”


  189. Russell C Lewis says:

    What does the year have to do with anything.
    The fact that these laws pass in 2013 should be enough to show even you that we, as a human race, are not quite as evolved or advanced as we think we might be.

  190. Cody Thomas Nolden says:

    Poor boy. That’s so sad.

  191. Bill_Perdue says:

    No one has the right to be a bigot, or write bigoted laws, or enforce bigoted laws. If anyone gets away with writing or enforcing bigoted laws, whether it’s Putin, the Clinton’s, Obama and the Bushes or Mugabe, gays everywhere are endangered. Our being endangered is not something tony greene worries about.

    We had similar laws, in terms of jail time in the US until the Supremes stuck them down in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 in 2003.

    The easiest focus for our work against homophobia will be the new law in Russia but it’s clear that the LGBT movement is international at its core. We have to do all we can to support our brothers and sisters in other countries and if we don’t every victory we’ve won here – and they’re any significant ones yet – are up for grabs.

  192. Rob Dowdy says:

    Oh, well heck. Money is involved? Our bad. Go ahead and oppress us, put us in jail for existing, allow neo-Nazis to kidnap us, torture us, pour urine on us, publicly shame us as they see fit. Because, you know, money. Wow, I feel so stupid now for expecting to be treated like a sentient being with the right to something as stupid as peaceful existence.

    The Olympic Games are NOT RUSSIAN.

    Let that sink in.

    The Olympics belong to the world.

    Let that sink in.

    Because the Games are not Russian, they are simply fortunate enough to be ALLOWED to host them, it is incumbent on Russia as the Olympic host to produce the Games for and on behalf of the entire world.

    Thankfully most of the world that isn’t Russia and Africa believes I have a right to exist without being jailed or physically assaulted, meaning that Russia is acting very unilaterally and monoculturally to degrade what should by all rights be a multicultural and multilateral celebration of human sports achievement without regard to race or color or religion or ethnicity or national affiliation or sexual orientation or anything other than athletic prowess.

    If the very existence of an athlete is not “illegal” in their home country then Russia, as a gracious host and steward of a planetary endeavor, should respect that.

    Doesn’t seem that complicated to me.

  193. Pat says:

    Well we will have the football/soccer World Cup in 2022 in… Qatar!
    Should be even more fun!

  194. AdmNaismith says:

    Sure, but the world doesn’t have to condone it. The IOC doesn’t have to feed this monster by delivering people right to the Russian’s doorsteps to be beaten and hauled off to prison.

    By any measure this law is horrific and demands all the pressure the world can exert to stop Putin and Mutko and the neo-nazi thugs across Russia.

  195. Bill_Perdue says:

    Similar to LGBT Democrats and Republicans who get enraged when we criticize the inaction of their parties on ENDA, a CRA or DOMA repeal.

    Both are attempts to deflect the discussion away form the struggle for GLBT rights.

  196. Houndentenor says:

    I don’t accept the right that other countries have the “right” to deny basic civil rights to their citizens, but even so, that doesn’t mean that we have to put our athletes and other people involved in the US Olympic team at risk. the games need to be moved.

  197. tony greene says:

    You do understand it is 2013.

  198. Houndentenor says:

    Ah. So like how women should have waited for their rights until gay people had theirs? And racial minorities should have waited for their rights until women had theirs. Etc. Sounds like a recipe for no no progress at all on human rights. It would be nice to wave a magic wand and say “Expecto patronum” or whatever and poof everyone had basic human rights. It doesn’t work that way. Never has.

  199. Bill_Perdue says:

    Exactly. Forget the bigot enablers and boycott NBC, the right wing Democrats mirror image of the Republicans right wing FOX.

  200. Rob Dowdy says:

    Of course they do. Just like Germany in 1939. And no one is saying they can’t “enforce their laws as they see fit,” we’re saying that we should not support it, condone it, or enable it. Some people seem to think that “free speech” means freedom from the consequences of speech. It does not. It means the Russians can say “we don’t want filthy gays here” and the rest of the world can say, “Oh, cool. Go to hell. We’ll stay over here where it’s less crazy.”

  201. tony greene says:

    Too much money and politics are tied into the games. Too late for any of the proposed that you’ve said to happen. Just don’t watch or support it.

  202. saltcay says:

    I love the fantasy world you are living in. To believe that the Russian government won’t arrest tourists just because they are with “tons of other tourists”, or arrest someone because they are wearing an Equal Rights logo T-Shirt, etc. is definitely a fantasy land. The IOC has already said it would disqualify any athlete that does anything or wears anything to “flaunt” the laws of the Russian government. There goes the idea of athletes waving a rainbow flag or wearing a rainbow pin or patch on their official team uniforms.

  203. Cani Lupine says:

    Yep, time for a boycott.

  204. Tom says:

    Yes it is their right. But the Olympics is a worldwide event where cultures from all over come to participate. And each has their own views. Also the Olympics call for a time of peace between countries. That’s why they were made. So that being said Russia should denounce this law until the end of the Olympics. It should have never been a thing but that’s not our choice.

  205. BeccaM says:

    Yep. I figured as much. Thanks for having already looked. It does figure, especially with the “you need to respect Russia’s laws” and “they have every legal right to do what they’re doing” tack he kept taking.

  206. Naja pallida says:

    Obviously, NBC is going to have to first change their peacock logo, those rainbow colors could get any NBC employee arrested for wearing it! So, they will be unveiling their new logo before the Games in Sochi.

  207. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Of course they do, and we have the right to boycott their products and to lobby the IOC to move the Olympics.

  208. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Just checked my own profile. You can request privacy. I guess that means in the time between when I looked and the time when you looked, he checked privacy. Obviously, he’s more than a bit paranoid.

  209. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Full Boycott

  210. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    That’s very strange. I can no longer access his posts. How does one do that?

    What I wanted to point out is that he posts at a Russian blog. He writes in Russian of course. It explains his posts here.

  211. tony greene says:

    Isn’t Russia a sovereign country? Do they not have the right to enforce their laws the way they see fit for their country?

  212. js says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard Harry Shearer (Le Show) weigh in on this one. He is kind of like a one man pit bull against the “Olympic movement” even when it doesn’t have something as heinous as this going on.

    This might be a long shot, but maybe also contacting the athletes directly could have an impact. Maybe some of them would be interested in at least showing some solidarity, if not an outright boycott. They would always be welcome to participate in the Gay Games.

  213. Randy Patton says:

    He is out of jail and currently has videos up on YouTube. He stalks those who are weaker than him and subtly abuses them. Particularly women. Watch the videos and you will see.

    Russia is out of control. They are close to having an anarchy over there. We should NOT go. There was a gay German ambassador who was beaten, and the government did nothing until required to do so several weeks later by an international court. It turns out the culprit (who has still not been arrested,) was interviewed for Russian Newsweek, and they knew who he was all along.

  214. Bill_Perdue says:

    There was never any real doubt, Putin and United Russia have drawn a bigoted line in the sand. It’s up to our Russian sisters and brothers, trade unions and the anti-Stalinist left in the RF to defeat him.

  215. Bill_Perdue says:

    And NBC/Comcast. They’ve know all along what was going on in the RF and did nothing about it. They make the most money from the Olympics and their bigoted relationship with the IOC and the Russians. CO…

  216. Bill_Perdue says:

    Boycott NBC/Comcast and divest.

  217. BeccaM says:

    Other than what’s here, there doesn’t appear to be any. But it’s damning enough.

  218. Bill_Perdue says:

    We should begin divestment campaigns and boycotts against them and invite unions, feminists, people of color and others to join with us.

  219. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    For a better understanding of Mark, check out his posting history.

  220. Naja pallida says:

    Well, it has been the standard go-to line from those people who want to seem like they’re on your side, but really aren’t, for as long as I can remember. Like they think people should just accept stepping to the back of the human rights line because there are many other issues in the world. It’s a ridiculous assertion… and the idea that we don’t also find places like Saudi Arabia revolting because of the way they treat their people is also disingenuous, but Saudi Arabia also isn’t trying to host the Olympics. We all need to pick our fights, and if you don’t want to help, get out of the way.

  221. BeccaM says:

    As I read it, Mark’s is yet another “gays need to shut up about equal rights for themselves until everybody else gets their rights first and the world is a utopian ideal” argument.

  222. Houndentenor says:

    Lots of people had a problem with the Olympics being in Beijing, so what you are saying is just not true.

  223. Houndentenor says:

    What do you want us to do about those things? Give me a plan. Tell me which gas to buy that doesn’t come from a country with human rights abuses. Give me something tangible and I will participate. Otherwise, this is just a big pile of crap.

  224. Houndentenor says:

    We would also not have the Olympics in Saudi Arabia and force women to compete while wearing burkas. It wouldn’t happen.

  225. Houndentenor says:

    You make a good argument for why we should do more for women’s rights in the Muslim world. It’s not, however, an argument not to care about gay rights in Russia. I most certainly do care about both.

  226. mirror says:

    Well said.

    As suggested below. Might be time to start talking with NBC and the advertisers with a little more vigor.

  227. Houndentenor says:

    If Russia is planning to arrest gay athletes then the games have to be moved.

  228. notafraidofchange says:

    Forget Russia…lets go after NBC and their advertisers who are spending BILLION$ to fund the Russian horror!!!!

  229. FLL says:

    I’m sure there will be athletes from whichever country who are married to same-sex spouses. It’s almost guaranteed that, at some point, some reporter will ask them about their spouse or ask a question that will require the athlete to acknowledge that they have a same-sex spouse. Under the Russian law, the police would then be waiting for either the athlete or the reporter to leave the Olympic Village, at which point they would make an arrest. This is almost at the point where the United Nations may have the right to complain.

  230. emjayay says:

    I’m all for anything and everything on the Olympics issue. But say they do go on anyway in Sochi. First, there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before then. Who knows what will happen. But say they do go on. I don’t think there will be any official anything done to any gay Olympic tourists in almost all situations. The powers that be will see to that. Even if they are walking down the street holding hands or something. I wouldn’t want to be seen in a random bar making out with my boyfriend there though, given the ignorance of the populace, but I wouldn’t in some places here either.

    As far as more obvious stuff – a demo on the streets with rainbow flags and signs etc. Yeah, they will arrest people, and use other laws to do it under about no permits or something. And there will be world wide news coverage and the whole point for Russia hosting the Olympics will be negated, and diplomats will ensure that the arrestees will not be sent to the gulag.
    Most Olympic tourists will spend their time in situations with tons of other tourists. Nothing will happen there. The real danger is to the individuals who are perceived as gay by behavior or rainbow pins or something, either in some organized protest or somewhere without a lot of other international tourists around. And the danger is again not being sent to hard labor in the gulag but getting their heads bashed.

    Not that any of this negates the real issue which is the official and popular oppression of gay people in Russia.

  231. Naja pallida says:

    If I recall correctly, wasn’t he jailed for his incitement of neo-Nazi philosophy? Seems odd that the government is now adopting it.

  232. Jake says:

    beating women for being women is just as bad as beating kids for being gay, worldwide, you asking humanity to respect violence by calling it culture…

  233. Snaggletooth says:

    Change being gay to being poor and it’s the same.

  234. askew says:

    They are supposedly emulating their neo-nazi leader nicknamed ‘Tesak’ (‘Cleaver’), who had the tendon of his thumb cut off when younger and who therefore can’t raise his thumb higher.

  235. emjayay says:

    Well, one point is that anyone who is gay in Russia from citizens to Olympic visitors is subject to individual and gang violence. The government only endorses and enables it. On the other hand, reactionary Americans don’t have their own armed drone.

  236. emjayay says:

    Yes, just blaming this on Putin looking for an issue or the Russian Orthodox church is nowhere near the whole story. Russian people were mostly peasants from the middle ages when Communism took over, and for 70 years evolving ideas of the West were both kept out and demonized.

  237. Meerut says:

    Greece ? Winter? Lol

  238. Snaggletooth says:

    Actually a lot of us were pissed about it. A lot of us were also pissed that was the same time Google agreed to bend over for China too.

  239. emjayay says:

    Serious answer, anyone?

  240. FLL says:

    The Chinese had no intention of arresting anyone who said they were gay, and they didn’t. That’s why.

  241. Snaggletooth says:

    “Bad Yakov Smirnov voice”

    In soviet Russia, thumb up you…

  242. Naja pallida says:

    Does anyone know what the bent thumbs up thing is all about? Looks to me like it is saying “We can’t get it up.”

    Also, it occurs to me that the Olympics has “To act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement” written in its charter. They don’t suppose this will affect the Movement?

  243. Snaggletooth says:

    I find it telling that you think America is a white country. Maybe you didn’t notice the tan in my profile pic, but as a man of Native American and Hispanic ancestry, you might want to rethink who you call a slave owner douche-bag.

  244. usagi says:

    The potential damage to the Volkswagon brand is greater though. It’s easy to make a dent in car sales, and if Volkswagen gets tagged as supporting fascists, that’s a lot of advertising (money) to recover their brand as fun and carefree.

  245. Candice J. Kelley says:

    That’s just horrible.

  246. Jeff Bowles says:

    “40 years ago we were still slave society and now we are the ones who have b*lls to point these things to other cultures ? ”

    You really do not know what you’re talking about, do you Mark?

  247. Jeff Bowles says:

    Mark, you are really not paying attention.

  248. Larry says:

    The Olympics, complete with its money and LGBT-friendly corporate sponsors, are not being held in Saudi Arabia, Mark. And I doubt they ever would be, given the very conditions you cite. There’s something wrong with your comparison in this case.

  249. Mark says:

    yeah yeah slave owner… 2 days ago you couldn’t say anything in your backyard , now you are global political advisor, all of the sudden

  250. emjayay says:

    I’m all for anything and everything on this issue, but the reason countries blow billions on hosting the Olympics is because of the PR and prestige and tourism during and in the future. Splitting up the games gets rid of that incentive. Not that I care. There is also the space at the venues, besides the lodging issue which goes for participants as well as the public.

  251. Mark says:

    Like our society and ‘coloured’ problem ie ? Nobody banned us from anything and we were not right. And now, all the sudden, we are the moral and ethical role model. Yes that is the law in Russia, and many other countries. Should we move games to Canada? Freedom of Speech, there’s no such thing, not even here. It’s just what is currently politically correct. Nobody had a problem with this in Beijing ! Am I right ? Why is this different ?

  252. MountainLaurel says:

    What is worse is that the US is still considering attending the Olympics instead of boycotting. I’m stunned at the silence. Although, I guess I shouldn’t be.