Thanks to my friend and fierce LGBT ally Jennifer Carey for inspiring me to write this article. SJFA readers will remember the story about the violent homophobia in Russia right now, but I fear It Gets Worse. Now all athletes who show any type of solidarity for their LGBT brothers and sisters will be punished by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). My how very 19th Century of the IOC. It is as if the history of the persecution of folks with the pink triangle by the Nazis during WWII never happened.
The IOC, in a very Gestapo like manner, declared that anyone trying to make it safe for LGBT athletes, “Any participant who steps out of line may be punished, not by the Russians but by Olympic chiefs themselves.” The IOC is calling upon Rule 50 from the Olympic Charter which states that the Olympics is not for political or religious propaganda — and here we have the blatant hypocrisy. All the folks spouting their religious hate are facing no consequences, but those trying to ensure the emotional and physical safety of other human beings are being arrested and punished. How sad that the IOC willfully suffers the delusion that promoting human rights is a “political” agenda.
Do we need to be worried that Putin seems obsessed with us gay folk? Do he and Scott Lively need to finally announce their “love that dare not speak its name.” I find it ironic that Putin the dictator of Russia is willing to grant political asylum to Edward Snowden, but then tortures LGBT folk. Yes, for those not reading the newspapers, LGBT teens in Russia are being tortured.
Sadly, the United States cannot approach this issues from a place of innocence. Most part of the southern United States and even parts here in Oregon LGBT folk have to live their lives in fear. We do not get to claim righteous indignation and moral superiority over Putin and his homophobic merry band of haters and fear mongers, for we have the same closet cases here in our own backyard.
Call to action: Yes, I fully support boycotting the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but I would also ask that all of us that are committed to social justice stand in solidarity with ALL of our LGBT brothers and sisters around the world: Russia, the United States, Uganda, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe.