Sochi Olympics and Russian anti-gay law
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    Default Sochi Olympics and Russian anti-gay law

    The International Olympic Committee is waiting for more clarifications from the Russian government on the anti-gay law that is overshadowing preparations for the Winter Games in Sochi, IOC President Jacques Rogge said Friday.

    The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies. It has caused a major international outcry and spawned calls for protests ahead of the Feb. 7-23 Olympics in the Black Sea resort.

    Rogge said the Russian government provided written re-assurances about the law on Thursday, but that some elements are still too unclear to pass judgment.

    "We are waiting for the clarifications before having the final judgment on these reassurances," Rogge said, a day before the start of the world athletics championships in Moscow.

    Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko insisted Thursday that Olympic athletes would have to respect the laws of the country during the Sochi Games. On Friday, he said there was no way Russia would back down under political pressure. Referring to Western criticism, Mutko was quoted as saying by Interfax: "I wouldn't call the pressure light. Russia must understand that the stronger we are, the more other people aren't going to like it. We have a unique country."

    "We don't have to be afraid of threats to boycott the Olympic Games," Mutko said. "All sensible people understand that sports demand independence, that it is inadmissible that politics intervene."

    On Thursday, Mutko did make it clear that the private lives and privacy of athletes would be respected as it is guaranteed by the Russian constitution.

    Rogge said that was essential.

    "The Olympic charter is clear," Rogge said. "A sport is a human right and it should be available to all, regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation."

    Even if Russia accepts that principle, the law leaves open the issue of athletes speaking freely during the games.
    "As far as the freedom of expression is concerned, of course, this is something that is important," Rogge said. "But we cannot make a comment on the law" until the clarifications have been received.

    "I understand your impatience to get the full picture, but we haven't [received] it today," Rogge said. "There are still too many uncertainties in the text."

    Rogge said the problems seemed to centre on translations.

    "We don't think it is a fundamental issue," he said at a news conference following a meeting of the IOC executive board with the International Association of Athletics Federations.
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/st...ames-reax.html

    What trumps what, in your opinion? Politics and the laws of a particular country, or the IOC charter that sport is a human right and should not be subject to discrimination? Do you think boycotts would be effective or not?
    Last edited by ClairesMommy; 08-19-2013 at 10:29 AM. Reason: added cite

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    The IOC should find another country that can host on this short notice. It's not fair to the athletes to boycott it, but Russia cannot get away with telling athletes they will be beaten or jailed for being who they are. They bid for the Games under false pretences and if they aren't going to uphold the charter, the Games cannot be held there.
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    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blather View Post
    The IOC should find another country that can host on this short notice. It's not fair to the athletes to boycott it, but Russia cannot get away with telling athletes they will be beaten or jailed for being who they are. They bid for the Games under false pretences and if they aren't going to uphold the charter, the Games cannot be held there.
    I'm not saying i have a better solution, but this is really idealistic. How could anyone host such a massive event on such short notice? I would imagine it would be helpful if it was a city/country in the recent past who has done it, as they would have all the facilities theoretically, but i still don't see how one could accomplish such a feat, and do it well in such a short period of time.

    I don't know what a good solution is. As an athlete, i would selfishly not want to boycott however I would admire anyone who chose to do so.

    I really don't know.

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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    Am I reading this article incorrectly? I read in it that athletes will only have issues if they bring in gay "propaganda" or try to have gay rallies. If they will only get in trouble for rallies and the such I am okay with that. The Olympics should be about the sport and not anything else.
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    Have you seen what they are doing in Russia? If you are a gay athlete, and you win and then kiss your legal spouse, the police can beat you and put you in jail. The law is open ended to mean anything. I don't trust them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    I'm not saying i have a better solution, but this is really idealistic.
    I totally agree. Vancouver is talking about what it can do- but it is really short notice and it would basically just be the events. I think Russia should have to bankroll it too, but that's not happening.

    Most likely, just like Berlin 1936, it will go ahead, and Russia will look awful and athletes will be scared and some awesome gay athletes will do fantastically. But athletes should not have to be scared at the Olympics.

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    So we allow China to host the Olympics when their human rights record is MUCH worse.... but tell Russia they can't? Makes sense.

    Hmmm.... looks like the same exact thing would have happened in China.
    Chinese Gay Pride March Organizer Detained
    Last edited by GloriaInTX; 08-19-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    From the article you quoted, Gloria:

    Chinese society is increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians, although same-sex partnerships are not recognized and no laws outlaw discrimination against sexual minorities. A law against "hooliganism" used to target gays was eliminated in 1997 and homosexuality removed from the list of mental disorders in 2001.
    And also, from your article, the gay pride march organizer was detained for holding an illegal protest, not because he's a gay rights activist. The article stated that every protest organizer must get approval from the police, which is "rarely" given. And at least China is going in the right direction with gay rights, instead of into the dark ages like Russia with their brand spanking new law.

    And IMO it's not a case of just letting Russia go ahead and have the Olympics because another country with a bad human rights rep held them a few years back and oh well what can you do; it should be a case of the IOC making sure that a potential host country upholds basic human rights and does not subject its citizens and visitors to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The IOC is being a bit too standoffish and not doing as much as they should.

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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClairesMommy View Post
    And IMO it's not a case of just letting Russia go ahead and have the Olympics because another country with a bad human rights rep held them a few years back and oh well what can you do; it should be a case of the IOC making sure that a potential host country upholds basic human rights and does not subject its citizens and visitors to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The IOC is being a bit too standoffish and not doing as much as they should.
    Sorry I don't think there is any difference in the law in Russia and the law in China when the effect is the same, they are not allowed to hold gay right's marches.

    And IMO that is exactly what it is. You can't all of a sudden tell a country they can't hold the Olympics when another country that has worse human rights not just on this but on a HOST of other things was allowed to. That is a HUGE double-standard.
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    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
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    So, your stop-gap measure is to ban countries from hosting the Olympics because of $hitty human rights track records, instead of holding those countries accountable for them?
    fuchsiasky and blather like this.

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