Saturday, July 20, 2013

A whisper campaign to boycott the Sochi Olympic Games in Russia?

Senator Lindsay Graham got the the "B-word" or the term "boycott" out in front when he complained about Edward Snowden fleeing to Russia for political asylum. Snowden is the NSA contractor who leaked "gigabytes" worth of documents proving that our secret FISA court and its secret judges, have allowed the NSA and the FBI the complete right to spy on the citizenry of the United States without a search warrant. (Yes, we are all suspects now.)

Graham recently ranted that we should boycott the Olympics unless Russia turns Snowden over. When a noted polling college found that more Americans view Snowden as a whistle-blower rather than a traitor the concept of threatening a boycott of the Olympics unless Russia complied became nothing short of a dead duck floating face down in the water.

Now, I am seeing an article from the Windy City Times that states LGBT groups (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual, Transgendered) are calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

I am curious to see if  President Obama will now use LGBT issues to "mull over" a possible boycott for "human rights purposes" of course as a disingenuous reason to negotiate over Snowden return to the US; It seems like something he would do.

From the WIndy City Times:

"... Legislation prohibiting the dissemination of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" in Russia passed in late June. Activists suggest that the law will give authorities a wide berth in interpreting what "propaganda" actually entails, and fear that even so much as a public declaration of being gay would be in violation of the law. Foreigners are subject to the rule as well; they can be fined, detained for 15 days and deported.

Some organizations had been urging IOC to come out more forcefully against the laws. In mid-June, after the legislation had passed the Duma, Boris O. Dittrich, advocacy director of the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, asked IOC to "to press the authorities to state publicly that, as Olympic Host, Russia will ensure, without distinction, the safety and the freedom of expression and association of all athletes, coaches, fans, and others who will attend the Sochi Games. ..."


The purpose of the Olympic Games is to promote peace through sport and get us talking to one another. Their official phrase for this endeavor is:
"...To cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace..." 
The IOC fired up their PR department to discuss this. They said this:

"...The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation," the statement said. "The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardize this principle. ...” 
They don't state any action they would take but I suspect they feel the same way most of us do and would maintain a clearer head than Lindsay Graham. I suspect if any athlete mentioned they were gay or whatever, the IOC would have their back.

Boycotting the Olympics is always a bad idea. It does nothing but drive nations apart. Currently our Russian relations are strained enough and to boycott now would be a blow not just to Russia but a blow to the LGBT issues, American commerce, and most especially the athletes themselves. Nobody would win except for Lindsay Graham.

Let me back up, how would it be a blow to LGBT issues? The best avenue for those with LGBT issues is to go to the Olympics and anytime they get a forum to speak, mention that they miss their significant other or their LGBT parents. This in itself will make it a bigger and a more accessible issue since it would be televised globally and the IOC would protect them.

Next, why do I have a "push-up bra" ad from Germany in the upper-right of this post? Meet Andrej Pejic, a MAN who models womens' clothes and accessories. He would be outlawed for "promoting" his "whatever" in Russia under current laws.

No comments: