ABC: “Gay athletes could be prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics”

ABC is now reporting what we mentioned yesterday, that the Russians’ promise to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that their draconian new anti-gay law won’t apply to athletes and guests attending the Sochi, Russia Winter Olympics in 2014, appears to be unraveling.


A second ABC story is even more direct. It’s titled: “Gay athletes could be prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics.”  ABC notes that “the International Olympic Committee appears only cautiously optimistic that the games will be safe for gay athletes and fans.”

Only “cautiously optimistic” that gay athletes and gay fans will be “safe” at the 2014 Sochi Olympics?  Ouch.

Russian vigilantes kidnap and attack a young gay Russian they first stalked on a local social media site.

Russian vigilantes kidnap and attack a young gay Russian they first stalked on a local social media site.

The man behind the new anti-gay law, Vitaly Milonov, is saying that the Putin government has no authority to declare a law off-limits for certain people during a certain time period.  If it’s the law of the land, it’s the law of the land.


Of course, as I noted before, there’s another problem for Olympic-goers in 2014: How is the IOC going to reach agreement with the Putin-emboldened skinheads to not beat up, or worse, kidnap and torture, gay and gay-friendly Olympic attendees?

Even if the laws are not enforced during the Olympics, gay visitors may face a local backlash. Three-quarters of Russians say society should not accept homosexuality, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Just 16 percent say society should be accepting of the LGBT community. The numbers aren’t much different among young Russians, either: Just 21 percent of those polled under 30 thought homosexuality should be accepted.

The extent of the Russian 2014 Olympic problem is evident from a simple Google search.  When I turned off my personal search results, and typed in “Sochi Olympics”, here’s what came up – a lot of bad news for both Russia and the International Olympic Committee (I’m partial to the second result):


Similar results when you type in “2014 Olympics”:


Of course, Russia brought all this on itself.  It was the Russian parliament, and President Vladimir Putin’s, personal war on gay and trans people that emboldened Russia’s far-right nuts (many of whom are suspected to be working in cahoots with the Russian authorities), and now those nuts are taking over the country and posing a direct threat to foreigners.

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.

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.

Of course, it’s not like Putin and the parliament weren’t the first to target foreigners – they were.  Russia recently passed legislation giving the government explicit permission to arrest pro-gay foreigners for up to 14 days, then kick them out of the country.  And the Russians wasted no time using the law to target foreign visitors deemed too pro-gay, arresting a Dutch film crew for filming a documentary about gay life in Russia.

Gay Russian man kidnapped and beaten by vigilantes.

Gay Russian man kidnapped and beaten by vigilantes, who filmed the entire affair and published it online.

The Russian government wanted violence, and they got violence.  And now it’s endangering the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Russian tourism, and Russian businesses like Stolichnaya.

Heckuva job, Putie.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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128 Responses to “ABC: “Gay athletes could be prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics””

  1. Alex says:

    That’s rubbish! There are no anti-gay laws in Russia. There are laws against gay PROPAGANDA. See the difference? Nobody will bother you just for the fact you are gay (unlike in the present Saudi Arabia btw). Don’t be lazy and check it up: there are gay clubs in Russia, a lot of media people are open gays etc. They are not oppressed or prosecuted for being gay. But if you show your homosexuality off publicly, this will irritate normal people. If you go further and try to advocate homosexuality and do this massively, if you suggest that homosexuality is another sexual norm, if you act to inspire our children to love homosexuality itself, instead of loving all people irrespective of their sexual orientation – then beware. Be gay, if it’s your PERSONAL choice. Deep inside myself I will feel just truly sorry about you. But – honestly – I prefer not to know it and not to discuss it with you. Keep it intimate. However never try to ADJUST me to your gayness. One person’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins.

  2. Mk Ultra says:

    Actually, we have a ban on this website against Russian Propaganda. You’re still allowed to have an opionion, yOu just can’t post it here.

  3. WTF IS THIS NEWS? says:

    Wow..I wonder who believes this crap… The painted red guy wan’t caught for being gay! It’s a lies! He is a pedofile, who wasn’t killed or even beaten. He was painted red, kneeled and humiliated verbally for trying to have sex with a kid. Russia is not a savage country, that kills gays or puts them in jail for being gay. Only morons, who know nothing about Russia end up beliving it. There are many gay artists and singers in Russia who have no problems with the law. Why? Because they don’t show their naked butt in public. The law isn’t ANTI-GAY. The law is ANTI-MANIFISTATION of immoral acts in public, which most of gays enjoy. And, of course this law isn’t gonna be loved by those, who morally degraded.

  4. Michael Abracham says:

    It would be political suicide on the world’s most watched stage. They certainly don’t want the world to see more of what they (police and vigilantes) have been doing – not at an Olympics.

  5. Marc Lawrence says:

    So it’s okay to kidnap and beat people for being gay? Please.

  6. Butch1 says:

    The more I think about this the more I cannot compromise my feelings about how long it has taken us to win our equal rights ( at least some of us ) and that we are still fighting for those rights for the rest of us in the other states that have not “seen the light.”

    I do not want to go back into the closet and “make nice” anymore. I would not make an ass of myself but if their laws are that I can’t even BE a gay person on their soil then they have made it easy for me to up my mind for myself. I will not hide anymore for anyone. No more closets and if that is what this president or Olympic committee would expect of all the gay athletes then I think any self respecting one should want to stay away from the games in protest. I value being equal over hiding to make everyone feel comfortable like we used to do. That is no answer to this bad situation.

    Those are my thoughts on it.

  7. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Also, think about the spouse. Could you really stay away from the games if your husband was competing?

  8. Butch1 says:

    This would be a tough call for me if I were in this position after working so hard to win a spot on the Olympic team and then have to decide whether I could leave my spouse home or not.

    Could I go back into the closet for this? I’m having a hard time with it.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    You don’t seem to be following the discussion.

    That comment was in reply to FLLs personal attack “It really upsets you that no one agrees with your assessment of freedom in Russia vs. the U.S., doesn’t it?” It proof that lots pf people agree with me and disagree with the use of personal attacks by people like you and FLL.

    It had nothing at all to do with any question of ‘moral superiority’. Try again some other time.

  10. Matt Rogers says:

    The ABC News website did the right thing by publishing this story, but where are the CNN, CBS News, and NBC News sites?

  11. Bill_Perdue says:

    This is a personal attack – there’s nothing political about it: “ou can be as leftist as anyone can desire and still be a paranoiac, repetitive, tiresome, predictable, utterly awful pile of misery.” and “Idiot.”

    I never expected you to change.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Chuckle away. I’ll be political and you can be personal.

  13. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sorry of you’re upset. Arguments should be free of personalities.

    I’m an internationalist when it comes to our relations with GLBT communities in other countries and I hold no brief for the US or for Democrats.

    As for the Hate Crimes law my analysis of why and when it passed is absolutely correct.

  14. AnitaMann says:

    Yep, that’s what I’m thinking. Why now? My first guess is it has to do with Syria. Not sure how though.

  15. FLL says:

    Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, has verified that anyone who breaks the anti-gay “propaganda” law will be arrested. Wear this NBC logo to avoid arrest and tell Mutko to go whistle up a drain pipe:

  16. BeccaM says:

    *shrugs* The Russians have already signaled they wouldn’t suspend the laws.

  17. karmanot says:

    To be read by MF is absolutely sublime :-)

  18. FLL says:

    I have to agree with Karmanot below. I’m sure you got that line about Obama apologizing for the USA from the phrase that Fox News and Sean Hannity were using, “the apology tour.”

  19. karmanot says:

    Probably :-o

  20. karmanot says:

    Oh please, the old ‘apologizing for the USA’ meme. Tired, so very tired.

  21. karmanot says:

    Are you not aware that the Olympics is an International event? Basic human rights is an international concern. Apparently the IOC feels as you do, at least if its history with the Nazi’s is any indication.

  22. DaMav says:

    The main problem is nobody on Earth has any respect for or fear of Obama. When he’s not apologizing for the USA he’s defining ‘red lines’ that even 3rd rate countries like Syria can step over with impunity. As I recall his major agenda with Russia is unilaterally cutting US nukes.

  23. FLL says:

    Normally, I wouldn’t upload yet a new post, but I was provoked by the Russian sports minister, Vitaly Mutko. We now have it from the horse’s mouth, from a Kremlin cabinet-level official who is most definitely in charge of such things. Here is the link to the article from Agence France-Presse in which Minister Mutko states that athletes at Sochi will be subject to arrest if they break the anti-gay law just passed by the Russian legislature:

    It’s occurred to me of late that this is, at heart, a matter of free speech. Why did America’s Founding Father’s make freedom of speech the first amendment? Why first? Because free speech is the engine of any successful civilization. Take the example of Ancient Greece. Playwrights like Aristophanes, poets like Sappho and political philosophers like Plato were all running around speaking their minds freely. This put Ancient Greece head and shoulders above other contemporary civilizations, and it showed in their accomplishments. America’s Founding Father’s seemed to understand this, if only subliminally, and the made freedom of speech the First Amendment because it really deserves to be first. Segue to Russia now where just stating support for gay rights or marriage equality can get an Olympic athlete tossed in the clink.

  24. Butch1 says:

    Unfortunately, they would think Ronald MacDonald was back into the commercials again. ;-)

  25. Butch1 says:

    It would be anti-climatic to have to leave your spouse at home for fear of someone attacking you or them at the games or worse, breaking some silly homophobic law they have. I wonder if they would suspend those laws for the Olympians and their spouses, gay or straight?

  26. DaMav says:

    It’s important to remember what we learned from the left about not being ethnocentric imperialists but respecting other cultures and not trying to force American cultural norms on them. :-)

  27. Stephen says:

    I don’t really have an inside view (thankfully I’m not Russian). I can almost guarantee that this is supported by the Russian people. At best, you might have some people against it in St Petersburg, but nothing of significance.

    I can speculate on what’s going on, but it’s not any special insight.

    1) Putin’s popularity isn’t what it used to be, so he likes distractions. This law appeals to both the xenophobia and homophobia of the Russian people, both of which run deep.

    2) I doubt Putin gives a crap about gay people. This propaganda law is probably as much about curtailing freedom of the press as anything (same reason they passed a blasphemy law a little while back). Putin’s biggest opponents (and the ones who have actually managed to affect his goals) have been the free press. In general, most of the press (for a time) was pro-democracy, pro-gay, and in general pro-modernity (Note the multiple assasinations of reporters in Russia over the last few years – Putin knows how to get rid of his enemies). The law curtails reporting about gay people, which will make it easier to sell the next law that limits press reporting, which, if I had to guess, will curtail “anti-Russian” speech, meaning anything Putin doesn’t like.

    3) Just to be clear, the Duma is a rubber stamp. Putin is in power, a tzar by any other name.

    4) I’m not sure Putin thought this would interfere with the winter Olympics a year away. If he did, he might assume that it will blow over by then. If he did think it would be international news, it still plays to his hand, since he can now rail against the “western cultural hegemony” or what have you.

  28. karmanot says:

    Hear me clearly Bill, your choo choo is coming off the tracks and offending regulars here is not winning you any adherents to what otherwise might be considered legitimate progressive ideas. You disappoint me brother.

  29. karmanot says:

    You speak Russian! Give us more background ….an inside view of why this pogrom is happening now. Is it generally supported by most Russians.

  30. Monoceros Forth says:

    Oh, brother…oh, man, seriously, I’m just giggling here. I think of all of the effort I’ve put into trying not to alienate myself completely from right-wing acquaintances and family members, trying to hide my true beliefs because I don’t want to provoke an outright break. And here you are, giving me an out! If I write up a document proclaiming that I’m a right-wing sellout, will you sign it for me? I can then pass it around to prove that I’m not some pinko Marxist. After all, your signature must carry a lot of left-wing cred! Think of all those up votes you’ve got! You’ll immediately be accepted as an authority on all that is “left”, from the sound of it.

    Oh, brother…I want what you’re smoking, honestly. It’d make my days easier.

  31. FLL says:

    OK, I’ll repeat the title of the post to make sure I’m on-topic: “ABC: ‘Gay athletes could be prosecuted at 2014 Winter Olympics.'” If this is the concern, then Russia’s record concerning freedom of speech, the press and the Internet would certainly be pertinent. And here is the Wikipedia page summarizing this by country.

    Wikipedia uses three organizations (Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and OpenNet Initiative), and it lists the scores from the three organizations in a chart. I think the idea is like a restaurant offereing three different flavors of ice cream rather one. You don’t like one flavor? There are two more that you might like. I have no idea why the concept used on this Wikipedia page would freak anyone out. Go figure. In any case, there is a general agreement on this summary chart, and other webpages that I’ve visited, that Russia does very poorly indeed compared with any democracy. And I no longer consider Russia a democracy. The anti-gay law passed the legislature by a vote of 436-0. Give me a break. Nothing in a democracy passes the legislature by a vote of 436-0.

  32. Bill_Perdue says:

    Not every one. You certainly are.

  33. Bill_Perdue says:

    All left wing organizations oppose the US as a police state, and oppose Obama and Democrat and Republican allies as a union buster, a mad dog warmoner, and someone trying to gut the Bill of Rights and Social Security. Those are the reasons why you support him.

    Right wingers like you, who rely solely on the CIA and USIA for talking points in support of the US and it’s crimes oppose me and oppose the left. Nothing new there. It’s been going on since the days of McCarthy and Roy Cohn.

  34. The_Fixer says:

    Yeah, I seldom take the time to do that with this kind of link. But I was feeling a little cranky earlier, and as I don’t run Windows, there’s little chance of getting some bad computer disease from it. Looking at the site in question, I noted how it is impossible to know what it’s about unless you join, and decided to let my crankiness be known :)

  35. Monoceros Forth says:

    You’re wrong but I doubt you care. Why would you? You’ve already got everyone and everything slotted into neat categories in your mind. Anyone who says you’re an idiot is a right-wing sellout, hm?


    By the way, expect nothing but personal attacks for the rest of your life. If you have nothing to offer but invective, don’t expect anything but invective in return.

  36. dula says:

    I wonder if AB could get an interview with out gay athletes Johnny Weir and Blake Skellerup. Skellerup says he will wear a rainbow pin to Sochi. Weir is against a boycott. I bet they would accept an interview with John.

  37. Bill_Perdue says:

    No politics just psychobabble and personal attacks. You must be a Democrat. Tell me I’m wrong.

  38. Bill_Perdue says:

    The hate crimes law was hurriedly passed on October 28, 2009. It was rushed through after Obama and Congressional Democrats wet themselves a few days after the Oct 10-11 2009 National March on Washington and eleven years after Mathew Shepard was murdered on October 6th or 7th, 1998.

  39. Monoceros Forth says:

    Honestly I don’t care how much proof exists you’re not a right-winger. There are other values to consider. You can be as leftist as anyone can desire and still be a paranoiac, repetitive, tiresome, predictable, utterly awful pile of misery.
    I really don’t care any more what you have to say because it’s all the same, no matter the subject. You might as well be a Perl script, so predictable are your posts.

  40. FLL says:

    No, you exposed yourself as someone who refuses to name any organization anywhere which agrees with your assessment of freedom in Russia vs. the U.S. I believe I’ve told you before that declaring victory is not the same as winning. You really need to stop unilaterally declaring victory in the absence of a solid argument. People just don’t take you seriously. “Reporters Without Borders”? “OpenNet Initiative”? Ever heard of their assessment of freedom in Russia? People are laughing at you, Perdue.

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    This is the first time, since the last time we argued, that I’ve actually heard of any frothing at the mouth on the internet.

    And all because I exposed you (or rather you slipped and inadvertently exposed yourself) as someone whose politics come straight from the CIA, USA, and the FBI.

  42. Bill_Perdue says:

    They’re proof that I’m not a rightwinger. That is superior to Democrats and Republicans and those who vote for them.

  43. karmanot says:

    Exactly, that’s why after Mathew Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and crucified on a remote fence post, Hate Crimes laws were passed.

  44. karmanot says:

    Exactly! Tourists, Olympic visitors avoid Russia at all costs, your life may be in danger.

  45. FLL says:

    This is honestly the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone’s number of “up votes” being the topic of any discussion. I hope it doesn’t catch on.

  46. AnitaMann says:

    I may have missed it: any word from the State Dept. on this? Time for them to get involved methinks. Oh wait, Obama is wagging his finger at Putin re: Edward Snowden and probably won’t get involved in this. He’s meeting with Putin next month, and they’re already pretty chilly.

    And then there’s the Russia-Syria issue. This is a big international story.

  47. FLL says:

    Running your mouth and is not changing the leadership.

  48. FLL says:

    The subject was how many up votes you have? You’re crazier than I thought. Come on. Admit it. You terrorized your parents when you were a child. That’s why you do the same thing here, refusing to tell us what you think of “Reporters Without Borders” and the “OpenNet Initiative” because they don’t agree with your opinions. I used to think your parents terrorized you, but now I realize that it was the other way around.

  49. Monoceros Forth says:

    You are pathetic. Citing web site “up votes”–twice!–as unanswerable proof of your moral superiority? I guess McDonalds really is the best restaurant, so many people eat there!

  50. Bill_Perdue says:

    How dense are you?

    Don’ bother answering.

    If the ‘suits’ continue to betray us we’ll continue to criticize them and change the leadership.

  51. FLL says:

    But what if the unions do endorse Democratic congressional candidates? What if they do, Perdue? What then? Will you regale us with non-stop tantrums? What fun. Let’s see who the unions endorse in 2014, shall we? I can’t wait to hear your reaction.

  52. Bill_Perdue says:

    Caught in anther lie you change the subject. I have almost 30,000 up votes on liberal and leftwing sites, how many do you have? Poor thing.

  53. Bill_Perdue says:

    Unions should not endorse the kind of right wing jackasses who run for the Democrat or Republican parties. Period. Full Stop.

    The psychobabble is as inane as you are.

    Obama is a mad dog warmonger, a union buster, an enemy of the Bill of Right and Hillary Clinton or anyone the Democrats or Republicans nominate will be just as but I don’t expect you’ll ever be smart enough to figure that out.

  54. FLL says:

    I was thinking of something along those lines. Silk scarves are very flimsy, so they could be easily hidden. People should keep that idea going.

  55. FLL says:

    Still a child looking for attention. What you’ve quoted from is my original “post.” This is from the reply to your comment directly underneath:

    Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and OpenNet Initiative
    provide the statistics that are universally used when describing
    freedom of speech, press and Internet according to country. All three
    indices are in agreement when they compare the U.S. and Russia regarding
    these basic freedoms, and needless to say, they are not in agreement
    with you. I don’t think you mean that these three organizations are
    examples of “a US government front and a font of right wing lies.” I
    think you mean that the people who work for these three organizations
    don’t kiss your ass and jump through hoops for you. But why should they?
    I don’t think they’re aware of your existence.

    It really upsets you that no one agrees with your assessment of freedom in Russia vs. the U.S., doesn’t it? Childish tantrums.

  56. karmanot says:

    The only stand the Administration makes is to violate the Constitution and deny it’s own citizens civil tights and in some cases human rights by assassination. Expect nada from President talks a good line and walks a slink back.

  57. Bill_Perdue says:

    You reply was ” FLL Bill_Perdue • 3 hours ago

    Let’s take a look at a second difference between New York and Russia regarding the likelihood of gay people and their allies being arrested. In New York (and elsewhere in the U.S.), people are free to publicly voice their support for LGBT rights in any way they wish. Anything else would be an infringement of the First Amendment. In Russia, so much as wearing a rainbow pin in public will get you arrested. Russia doesn’t have freedom of the press or Internet freedom, let alone an equivalent of our First Amendment. Please follow this link to a handy graphic from Freedom House regarding freedom of the press. Russia is categorized as “Not Free,” in the same group as other luminaries such as mainland China and Saudi Arabia.” And then you lied about me posting under fake names. Lying will get you nowhere,

  58. karmanot says:

    I like the idea of American medal winners pulling out rainbow scarves while on the stand.

  59. karmanot says:

    Obozo should take a stand in his rainbow colored clown costume.

  60. karmanot says:

    Good ideas Myrddin! I also think raising negative PR around sponsors like COKE will make waves.

  61. karmanot says:

    John, Thank you you going full bore on this incredible series of events and the implications. AB is exposing what appears to be a growing pogrom in Russia that may very well turn into a form of genocide. The IOC and it’s sponsors are in full collaboration with this ongoing outrage.

  62. Daniel says:

    Maybe the anti-gay legislators are delusional enough to not want the Olympic Games in their mother Russia. If the whole thing is being done to shut out “Western” and “international” influence into their affairs, wouldn’t kicking the IOC out be the first step in going about acting on such a desire? Putin may want the Olympics, but that doesn’t that boneheads like Milonov want them to be held as well. If this is all part of the plan to “de-foreign-ize” Russia, we’re basically falling right into their plot. It’s a deluded (and costly) plan, but it’s a plan nonetheless. In either scenario (win or lose), we (the LGBT community) still lose. If they get the games, we’ve validated their bigotry. If they lose the games, they may not have wanted them to go on the first place. This is not to say that this boycott is pointless, but it really makes me think that they are actually trying to create this phony outrage for other reasons. If it’s to appease other interest groups, nothing we can say or do is going to change the situation on the ground.

  63. BeccaM says:

    Some years back, I got to know an Olympic contending athlete, a woman on the U.S. swim team. It was… interesting to get to know her perspective on the games.

    The problem with pressuring the athletes to make this kind of sacrifice is how for many of them, they view the specific games for which they’ve qualified as what’s likely to be their one and only chance to compete. Essentially, if the IOC tells them, “You go, you keep your head down, you do not wear rainbow pins or do or say anything to indicate you’re pro-gay” — nearly all of them will go along with it, despite the self-compromising.

    Personally, I think our more effective avenues are to shine the bright light and bring pressure from three angles:
    – The Olympics corporate sponsors
    – The media (as in, lots of pre-games protests and news cycles on just how anti-gay Russia’s new pogrom really is)
    – Our government, starting with contacting our Representatives and Senators

  64. FLL says:

    No I didn’t. It was the original “reply” to your comment. Lying will get you nowhere. You are still childishly acting out your lack of attention by refusing to comment on what “Reporters Without Borders” and “OpenNet Initiative” have to say about Russia vs. the U.S. You must have terrorized your parents when you were a child. No wonder they didn’t give you any attention.

  65. The US is NOT a police state. You are so dramatic. Again there are a lot of problems here, but we are no where near where Russia is. And, And the Band Played on is considered to be very HRC biased – it’s not considered to be anywhere near the truth to a lot of people who were involved in the crisis in its early days. So YOU may be the one who is unaware.

  66. BeccaM says:

    I never click on unsolicited comment spam…

  67. FLL says:

    You did it! I was waiting for the magic words, and you uttered them:

    should shouldn’t

    You don’t give a rat’s ass which congressional candidates the unions endorse, do you? You just want to shout the words “should” and “shouldn’t” because your parents didn’t give you enough attention when you were growing up. Now take a look at the beginning of your first sentence: “Unions shouldn’t be endorsing rightwing candidates like Obama…”

    If you paying attention to anything but your own emotional needs, you’d realize that Obama isn’t on the ballot, and won’t be again. Duh.

  68. FLL says:

    This is the first sentence from my first post:

    “Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and OpenNet Initiative provide the statistics that are universally used when describing freedom of speech, press and Internet according to country.”

    I mentioned all three. What about the other two? Do you think they are also disreputable sources? You can look at my original post just by scrolling up. You really need to answer the question about the other two sources mentioned. Otherwise, people will get the impression that you think that the only reputable sources are people who jump through hoops for your amusement, and I wouldn’t call that a reputable source.

  69. Bill_Perdue says:

    I repeat. In your first post you only mentioned ‘Freedom House’ a right wing front for mad dog warmongers like Obama, the Clintons and the Bushes. No one is surprised that you rely on these mad dog warmongers for your ideas.

  70. Bill_Perdue says:

    Unions shouldn’t be endorsing rightwing candidates like Obama or any Democrat or Republican. They should be organizing and striking to bring down the bosses and their flak.

  71. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re simply unaware of US history.

    Try reading.

    A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski or

    Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970 by John D’Emilio or

    And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts

    The US is a police state that tortures and unlawfully imprisons people like Manning and all the other political prisoners.

    Obama ordered the racist murders of US citizens like Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed . one a 16 year old boy.

    The Democrats, and before them, the Republicans operated concentration camps at Gitmo and Baghram. Both engage in kidnapping, murder and torture of political and military opponents.

    The US government uses the NSA, FISA, the Paytriot ActNDAA, the CIA the FBI to attack the Bill of Rights while doing nothing about the brutal racist murder of Trayvon Martin instead except their usual whitewash.

    The USA is a police state.

  72. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re wrong. Russia, much of EU and the US are all hostile to fundamental rights like marriage and equality in employment, housing and social services.

  73. FLL says:

    I repeat: I mentioned three organizations that rate freedom by country, not just one. What about the other two? You refuse to answer my question because you apparently feel that anyone who doesn’t jump through hoops for you is a “disreputable source.” One more time. What about the other two organizations:

    Reporters Without Borders (concerning freedom of the press)

    OpenNet Initiative (concerning Internet freedom)

  74. Bill_Perdue says:

    I was speaking of the union left, and you’re concerned the views of sellouts like the AFL-CIO leadership.

    It’s the same story as your endorsement of ‘Freedom House’ a right wing outfit funded by the same people who gave us Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    The difference is perspective. You rely on disreputable and discredited right wing sources and I rely on and participate in left wing groups.

  75. Butch1 says:

    I disagree. Either he supports all of the people’s freedoms in this country and the chance that any gay ones could be arrested in Russia for any crime by bringing their spouse over and holding their hand or kissing them or sleeping in the same hotel room or having a Russian homophobic fan attack an American gay citizen or he doesn’t.

    By still going ignores the gays of this country and basically tells us that we do not matter. It is okay to continue to participate in sports with him when he treats our own gay citizens worse than dogs. Our president should stand up for us by refusing to participate.

  76. FLL says:

    Now we have some the names of actual unions which can endorse real candidates. One quick note: “Teamsters for a Democratic Union” is not a union, but rather a lobby within the Teamsters that is trying to change policy within the Teamsters. The Teamsters make election endorsements, the “Teamsters for a Democratic Union” do not.

  77. The_Fixer says:

    Great. But until that site has an accessible “About Us” link that tells me what I am in for if I join, then I won’t be joining. I tried to check out the various links and wound up with prompts to log in. I’d like to find out what’s going on there before I join.

  78. Bill_Perdue says:

    You added two of them after your original post to cover up the fact that you source, Freedom House, is a CIA, USIA, NSA Obot front. It’s thoroughly discredited and so are those who use it.

  79. Bill_Perdue says:

    You can follow and their plans for anti-bigot demos at Sochi and other groups.

  80. Strepsi says:

    I totally agree, and would suggest the easiest way to be highly visual in support would be for ALL athletes from all countries in the opening Ceremonies to wear a rainbow scarf as part of their national uniform.

    That said, the boycott and pressure, especially on networks and sponsors at home, should be continued and increased.

  81. Athan Rules says:

    Fresh gay meeting point!

  82. Bill_Perdue says:

    The AFL-CIO and the CTW are dominated by tools of the Democrat party, like you, and even those who avidly read US government prostituted sources like Freedom House should be able to figure that out.

    Groups that are part of the emerging union left include

    Chicago Teachers Union – because they
    beat back union busters like Obama and Rahm Emanuel

    In these Times –

    ILWU because it’ leading militant

    National Nurses United

    Labor Notes

    Railroad Workers United

    Teamsters for a Democratic Union

    Workers self organizing at fast food chains and at Wal-mart
    because the pro-Obama ‘suits’ at the AFL are such sellouts.

  83. MyrddinWilt says:

    Threats have to be credible. The olympics represent a huge degree of leverage against Putin. If the Putin government believe that their anti-gay laws are going to tarnish their olympics, then they are going to move to protect them.

    The problem is proposing boycotts that are going to be followed. Pressuring the athletes not to attend does not seem very likely to succeed. It is essentially a proposal that the athletes do the boycotting rather than the progressive community as a whole.

    Another approach would be to target Putin’s part of the olympics: The opening and closing ceremonies, the torch relay. The torch relay in particular has to go through Greece for the trip from the mountain to the airport.

    The opening and closing ceremonies are Putin’s propaganda stage. If you watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics you were essentially watching an advert for the UK high tech and culture industries with a claim of responsibility for the World Wide Web and the Arab Spring.

    So one way to mount an effective protest would be to organize a rock concert with headline names and schedule it to be at the same time as the opening ceremony. If we can’t get headline names (i.e. the likes of U2) for a spoiler concert, I can’t see how any other boycott is going to be feasible. If the idea of a spoiler concert takes off then it builds credibility for other measures.

    NBC paid a lot for the olympics and they are not going to want to lose the audience for the opening/closing events. They have leverage with the IOC.

  84. Strepsi says:

    The game is nationalism: the more America is against them (and to some degree Europe too) the more popular he becomes at home. It’s scapegoating gays for Russia’s ills, mixed with the neo-Nazi idea of a “pure” Russian citizenry the “West” is trying to taint.

    Because then he can say “Who are these foreigners trying to IMPOSE their decadent warn of life on us decent Russians?” — which he’s already been doing with the foreign-adoption ban for instance.

    He never misses an opportunity to poke the U.S. in the eye, because most Russians HATE the U.S. Every time he pokes, nationalist citizens like him more. This is also why he just accepted Snowden.

  85. FLL says:

    I named three different sources in my comment above, not just one.

  86. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sounds like Clinton, Bush, or Obama.

  87. FLL says:

    As I’ve said before, I’m very curious to hear which unions endorse which congressional candidates next year. Their voice could only do the country good. You need to tell us, Perdue, specifically which unions you think are making political endorsements that you personally approve, and it really should be a union with a membership of more than 10 or so. We’ll all be waiting.

  88. Bill_Perdue says:

    Freedom House is a right wing front for Obama and Bush. I understand why you like it. It’s a US government front and a font of right wing lies. “As of 2010, grants awarded from the US government accounted for most of Freedom House’s funding ” wiki and “I wouldn’t expect to see ANYONE other than a knuckle-dragging, drooling reactionary right-wingding to cite this source. It’s just not sensible.”http://www.democraticundergrou…

    I proved what I said. You proved that your thinking comes from disreputable sources like Obama Bush and the US government .

    Thanks for that.

  89. nicho says:

    Well, Putin has had to cozy up to the Orthodox church — which is rabidly anti gay. The best way to get the patriarch on his side is to bash gays. It also doesn’t hurt his standing with the other anti-gay Christians, especially the evangelicals who have moved in. He really has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. He needs all the support he can get. The Olympics is all about money and nothing else. So there’s no chance that the IOC will be of any help here.

  90. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Russians are going to take Putin head on with demonstrations in Sochi. We should support them and other European and American groups who join them.

    “It’s official! The organising committee of Moscow Gay Pride and founders of the banned Pride House Sochi decided today against the boycott of Winter Olympics in Sochi and instead to organise Winter Sochi Pride on the day of the opening of Olympic Games on 7 February 2014. Join us! It will be much more effective to draw attention to official homophobia in Russia all around the world and expose the hypocrisy of the International Olympic Committee which went into discriminatory agreements with Russian regime and of the European Court of Human Rights which still has not considered our complaint concerning the unlawful denial to register Pride House Sochi! Vive Sochi Pride 2014!” – Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev, as quoted (in Russian) on

    Our brothers and sisters in the former USSR and Warsaw Pact countries have
    incredible courage.

    The courage and combativeness of our Russian brothers and sisters are shining
    examples for other sectors of Russian society anxious to break the shackles of
    a society still largely ruled by Stalinists and gangster capitalists, who, irrespective of their pretenses, have always been a right wing party.

    The difference between pre and post Stalinist Russia is that corruption, neo-fascist thuggery, racism and bigotry are now practiced by capitalists, as it is here, instead of bureaucrats.

  91. FLL says:

    Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and OpenNet Initiative provide the statistics that are universally used when describing freedom of speech, press and Internet according to country. All three indices are in agreement when they compare the U.S. and Russia regarding these basic freedoms, and needless to say, they are not in agreement with you. I don’t think you mean that these three organizations are examples of “a US government front and a font of right wing lies.” I think you mean that the people who work for these three organizations don’t kiss your ass and jump through hoops for you. But why should they? I don’t think they’re aware of your existence.

  92. UncleBucky says:

    Actually, athletes might want to individually boycott OR protest on site because of Russia’s political problems.

    But making a stand only focuses the energy in the wrong direction.

  93. Bill_Perdue says:

    My party consists of the union left. Your party is led by bigots and those who pander to them, racists, union busters and mad dog warmongers. That includes Obama, Pelosi and Reid and their Republican cousins. Now wonder you’re such a Demobot.

    I have almost 30,000 up votes on leftist or liberal sites, how many does a right winger like you have?

    I don’t want to violently overthrow the government, Your leader Obama did that in Libya and killed thousands.

  94. UncleBucky says:

    No, it seems to me that the Sochi Olympics will be troublesome.

    Lay on the money makers. Daylight them with a laser beam.

  95. Bill_Perdue says:

    The statement that “In New York (and elsewhere in the U.S.), people are free to publicly voice their support for equal rights in any way they wish.” is right wing and, as so often, with your posts, simply not true.

    Obama and the Democrats, with the support of Republicans routinely attack their critics and violate the Bill of Rights. They maintain concentration camps at Baghram Air Base in Afghanistan and at Gitmo in Cuba. They go after whistle blowers with a vengeance, torturing Brad Manning and other political prisoners and trying to kidnap Snowden. They organized local and federal police attacks on pro-gay OWS groups and the antiwar movement. They use FISA and the Paytriot Act to conduct massive illegal internal spying. They jointly use ‘drug laws’ to perpetuate mass Jim Crow imprisonment of people of color. If they’re not free we’re not free. Unless that is, you’re rich, a EuropeanAmerican or you have a penchant for gunning sown unarmed black teenagers in Florida.

    Information that the Russian police refuse to prosecute the kidnappers is important to building a case against them. Please provide some citations. I’d like to use them.

    This is not a free country for us or anyone who’s nor rich or rightwing.

    I think you got the demented notion of Obama’s respect for free speech reading too much baloney from ‘Freedom House’ a US government front and a font of right wing lies. Are you naturally drawn to them because they lie or because they’re right wing. ““As of 2010, grants awarded from the US government accounted for most of Freedom House’s funding ” wiki and “I wouldn’t expect to see ANYONE other than a knuckle-dragging, drooling reactionary right-wingding to cite this source. It’s just not sensible.”

    When will your personal attacks end. I guess they won’t because your politics are bankrupt and you need something. I have,as of this moment, 29,405 up votes, to your 2657, I use my own name and don’t try to hide behind anonymous names, I have fifteen people following me, to you 2657. They upvote me all the time.

  96. FLL says:

    My comment doesn’t fit the description of “concern troll.” What am I overly concerned about? I think it would be fun for Maddow to provide Olympic coverage for NBC, don’t you? It was actually Bill Perdue who keeps voicing concern about the involvement of NBC, unnecessarily, I think. I don’t think there is any evil plot being hatched at NBC. Look up the definition of “concern troll,” and I’m sure all our readers thank you for enlightening us with f-bombs.

  97. judybrowni says:

    Oh please go fuck yourself, concern troll.

  98. FLL says:

    You may be “a socialist and a revolutionist,” but the political party to which you belong only has a membership of 1, which would probably make it difficult to either field candidates in an election or participate in a violent overthrow of the government. It’s difficult to do either one of those things with a membership of 1.

  99. Bill_Perdue says:

    MSNBC and Fox are two sides of the same right wing coin. One supports right right wing Democrats and one supports right wing Republicans.

    I’m not a right winger but you most certainly are. I am a socialist and a revolutionist and have been for decades.

  100. Stephen says:

    Putin has lost some domestic popularity in the last few years (thousands of protesters showed up for his inauguration, which would have been unthinkable the few years before).

    I’m not sure what the end game is here, but since the time of Russia Tzars, the leadership there have used scapegoating as a political tool (thus the pogroms of the past). I’m guessing it’s the same.

  101. Butch1 says:

    Not only should gay athletes boycott the Olympics but, so should their straight athletic colleagues who have been selected to go to the games as well.

    If this president is too spineless to make the decision to cancel our participation in the Games because of Putin’s stand and all of the homophobic haters outrageous hate crimes against innocent gays with the police doing absolutely nothing to protect them, then perhaps the team players should go ahead and make that stand for him. He always plays it safe afterwards when the real heroes stand up first. He then, rides their coattails afterwards like he was always there with us.

    Our “Fierce Advocate” stands with us again. ( also known as: “Johnny come lately.” )

  102. usagi says:

    Simple, someone made a plan, and the plan went wrong.
    They thought they could get away with it.

    They still might.

  103. FLL says:

    I notice that you keep adding NBC to your list. There is now pressure for Rachel Maddow to provide reporting and analysis for the Olympics. I can just imagine you gritting your teeth rigtht now. Do I think you’d prefer the state-run Russian media to provide coverage? No, I don’t think that is your preference. I think we all know you too well by now. You’d prefer Fox News to provide coverage.

  104. Stephen says:

    Your last paragraph argues against your own point. You’re right, we have made huge progress, thus making modern us not comparable to modern Russia.

  105. Stephen says:

    “A certain color” – yep. голубой (goluboj) means “light blue”. Also, it’s a slur for gay.

  106. Whitewitch says:

    Maybe because America is (finally) moving toward equality for LGBT, many states have equality in marriage and rights for married LGBT people. This might be a reaction to that – fear that once people see it does not bring about the downfall of the WORLD that maybe it is okay (which of course it is).

  107. Stephen says:

    The same really can’t be said for New York; the scale is completely different. I get what you’re saying, but we should all keep in mind that it is so much worse in Russia than anywhere in the US (not that we don’t have plenty of room for improvement).

  108. FLL says:

    My guess is that most people don’t think fallacious moral equivalency (à la Perdue) is evil, exactly. My guess is that most folks think it’s a crashing bore, hence the tiring effect that you mention.

  109. FLL says:

    Like! I’ve replied to Perdue above.

  110. FLL says:

    Like! See my reply to Perdue above.

  111. FLL says:

    I’ll examine the equivalence that you draw between dangers facing LGBT people in Russia compared with New York. First, what happens when a violent crime is committed against an LGBT person? In the U.S. (including New York), the crime is investigated, whether the crime is murder or merely assault and battery. In Russia, the crime is investigated only if it is a murder; you noted that the Russian authorities investigated the recent anti-murder in Volgograd. If the anti-gay crime is anything other than murder (e.g., kidnapping, assault, battery, etc.), Russian authorities do not investigate; you can now see evidence of this throughout the Internet. So we now have one very stark difference between the dangers faced by LGBT people in New York vs. Russia.

    Lets’ take a look at a second difference between New York and Russia regarding the likelihood of gay people and their allies being arrested. In New York (and elsewhere in the U.S.), people are free to publicly voice their support for equal rights in any way they wish. Anything else would be an infringement of the First Amendment. In Russia, so much as wearing a rainbow pin in public will get you arrested. Russia doesn’t have freedom of the press or Internet freedom, let alone an equivalent of our First Amendment. Please follow this link to a handy graphic from Freedom House regarding freedom of the press. Russia is categorized as “Not Free,” in the same group as other luminaries such as mainland China and Saudi Arabia.

    Your repeated arguments for equivalence between Russia and the U.S. (or New York) are fails.

  112. Steven says:

    I have a feeling this is going to get a lot bigger in the weeks and months leading up to the games. NBC will be forced to address this, whether they want to or not. As will the IOC, although I suspect they will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the microphone. All of the videos posted online will actually be a great benefit for those advocating a boycott as they will show the cruel nature of the Russian people now.

    But what would make the issue explode is an athlete in medal contention refusing to be a part of the games. I’m guessing that will happen too. It’s a terrible situation for them to be in, but I would hope, were I in similar circumstances, that I’d have the strength of character to say that any medal awarded from a nation that actually encourages violence against a certain group of people is not a medal I would be proud to win.

  113. Stratplayer says:

    Sigh. Fallacious moral equivalency arguments like this just make me tired.

  114. It was NEVER that bad in the US. Gay people are not kidnapped and tortured and made enemies of the state (and the government would not turn a blind eye to this here). Yes, there are horrible hate crimes (and unfair laws that persist) that continue to happen in the US, but for ONCE can we please not have a police state compared to the US with everything?

  115. Bill_Perdue says:

    Hate crimes are also state policy in the US where we lack protections even as mild (read lame) as ENDA and where Congress refused to repeal Bill Clintons DOMA and now refuses to repeal Section Two and create legislation to overturn state DOMAs.

    The difference between the US and the RF is a matter of a few decades of courage and militancy by the LGBT communities. We made big strides here in spite of the bigotry of Obama, the Bushes and the Clinton’s and our brothers and sisters in Russia will too, in spite of the bigotry of Putin’s United Russia and the orthodox cult.

  116. Bill_Perdue says:

    They’re both centers of vicious violence promoted by bigots and those, like Schumer who pander to them. They’re eminently comparable. Both are undemocratic societies controlled by elites who use bigotry, racism and misogyny to divide and conquer and their joint criminality leads to all kinds of violence.

  117. Stratplayer says:

    Yeah, I don’t get the comparison, either. Hate crimes are a matter of official policy in Russia.

  118. New York has its problems, but really…comparing NY to Russia?

  119. Bill_Perdue says:

    The IOC and NBC should be on everyone’s boycott and divestment list. They’ll take more time to organize but be far more effective.

  120. Bill_Perdue says:

    Or New York –

  121. Bill_Perdue says:

    Everyone who’s LGBT in the RF or visiting the RF is in danger because the barely reformed Stalinists, gangster capitalists and rabid cultists who run the place are promoting bigotry, harassment, violence, beatings, induced suicide and murders.

    The same can be said for New York. Vicious bigots like Diaz Sr (1) archculltist Dolan, and panderers like Schumer (2), create a lethal situation by promoting bigotry, harassment, violence, beatings, induced suicide and murders.(3)


  122. True. I was just in Finland and we were going to tag on St. Petersburg as part of the trip. Glad we didn’t.

  123. Stratplayer says:

    Why would any normal, reasonable person, gay or not, go anywhere near Russia at this point?

  124. HolyMoly says:

    I perused the official Olympic site and clicked on their news release link. Not a thing at all about the pogroms already taking place, nor anything about the threat it poses to international gays. I know, it’d be like McDonald’s posting a news release about the cholesterol content of their Big Mac meals. Bad for business. But in this case, lives could be at stake; who knows what Russian prison guards will allow to happen to gays while being held for 14 long days — if they survive that long.

    And it’s not just gays who are at risk…don’t even do or wear something that Russians deem to be pro-gay, or you’ll find yourself in the same situation. (Being a different culture, who knows what innocuous little things — a certain color of clothing, wearing a shirt with a letter of symbol of some sort — that THEY consider to be a pro-gay symbol? Things that in other countries might not signify the same thing?)

    Seems to me that some sort of advisory should be posted. The Olympic committee would be partially responsible for luring people into the lion’s den, would they not?

  125. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m inclined to agree. There’s something fishy about this whole situation. Why the escalation now?