IOC Will Not Object To Arrests And Beatings Of Russian LGBT Activists

It’s difficult for me to say which side of this issue I fall on. The IOC does not exist to make political statements. It exists to govern the Olympics which shouldn’t focus solely on one select group of athletes. At the same time, however, statement six in the list of what the IOC’s mission is states: “Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement.” There’s a fine line to walk here, I realize. Not everything is black and white like so many people expect it is. And people are going to elbow in on the media coverage for any major event of this size and there’s not much to be done about it. These people had no direct involvement in the Games, therefore the IOC shouldn’t have to do anything, but people will be upset that they haven’t.

The International Olympic Committee has said Russia was acting in accordance with its laws when police detained 14 protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg on the day of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Some of those held in Moscow report being beaten while in police custody.

“We understand that the protesters were quickly released,” Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, said in an email to BuzzFeed. “As in many countries in the world, in Russia, you need permission before staging a protest. We understand this was the reason that they were temporarily detained.”

Full story

signature

Reporter hacked ‘almost immediately’ in Sochi

This is simply a follow-up to a statement I made in the previous post about what I’d heard second hand. I found this article on Huffington Post detailing what happened with NBC reporter Richard Engel. I personally think we should never have agreed to participate. Yes, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many athletes, but not at the risk of their lives.

Being a reporter at the Sochi Olympic Games just got even worse.

NBC News’ Richard Engel said that upon arriving in Russia to cover the upcoming event, he was hacked “almost immediately” — and privacy is not something visitors should expect to have.

“It doesn’t take long here for someone to try to tap into your laptop, cellphone or tablet,” he said Tuesday night.

Engel decided to test Russia’s privacy system with the help of American computer security expert Kyle Wilhoit, who set him up with two brand new computers and a phony identity, with fake names and addresses. When Engel connected them to the Internet in Sochi, he said he quickly received a suspicious email and was shocked when his computer was hijacked immediately after opening the email.

“In a minute, hackers were snooping around,” he said. “The same thing happened with my cellphone — it was very fast and very professional.”

Full story (with video)

signature

IOC President, Slam Politicians Over Sochi Olympics

I wholly disagree with Mr Bach. It is not the politicians who are using the athletes. This whole issue isn’t about politics. It’s about people’s lives.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach accused world leaders Tuesday of using the Sochi Olympics as a political platform “on the backs of the athletes,” and of snubbing the games without even being invited.

Three days before the opening of Russia’s first Winter Games, Bach used a hard-hitting speech to call out politicians for using the Olympics to make an “ostentatious gesture” serving their own agendas.

Without naming any individuals, Bach’s comments appeared directed at President Barack Obama and European politicians who have taken stands against Russia’s law banning gay “propaganda” among minors.

The Olympics, Bach said, should not be “used as a stage for political dissent or for trying to score points in internal or external political contests.”

Full story

signature

Olympic Sponsors Were Warned About Sochi

I wonder how many future hosts of the Olympics are paying attention to what is happening in Sochi and making adjustments or plans accordingly. I am hoping this will be the only “bad seed” Olympics we have, but I doubt it. 😦 If not LGBT issues, then it’ll be something else.

Coca-Cola has been forced into the closet regarding its sponsorship of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. It has shut down an interactive feature that allowed people to put messages on Coke cans cheering the Olympic athletes. The scrapping of the feature comes days after LGBT activists hijacked the campaign, urging people around the globe to use the cans to highlight messages about Russian anti-gay brutality and what activists view as Coke’s demonstration of its tacit lack of concern about Russia’s anti-gay laws by sponsoring the games.

That happened a couple of days after Coke saw its iconic 1971 commercial featuring singers wanting “to buy the world a Coke” re-edited by Queer Nation NY, going viral, with images added showing Russian security officials and police brutally cracking down on LGBT protestors.

McDonald’s, meanwhile, has surrendered a hashtag meant to cheer on American athletes, #CheerstoSochi, which was taken over by LGBT activists. It’s been used by people around the world — translated into Japanese, German, French and Russian — to highlight Russia’s repression and the McDonald’s Corporation’s sponsorship of the Sochi games. Ronald McDonald has been turned into an icon of hate, while Proctor & Gamble is being accused of supporting a different kind of cleansing than its soaps and detergents advertise. And there is much, much more to come.

Full story

signature

Sochi Mayor Says There Are No Gay People In His City

I guess Mr Pakhomov knows nothing of the existence of Mayak Cabaret in Sochi.

The mayor of Sochi is under the impression that there are no gay people in his city.

Anatoly Pakhomov spoke with the BBC ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics and discussed how gay people would be treated in the Russian region with the country’s “homosexual propaganda” law in place. Pakhomov said gays are welcome at the Games in spite of this, so long as they “respect the laws of the Russian Federation and [don’t] impose their habits on others.”

He claimed gay people do not have to hide their sexuality in Sochi.

“No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city,” he said. He later admitted that he isn’t absolutely certain there are no gay people in Sochi. “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”

Full story

signature

Putin Says He Has Gay Friends But…

Okay so Putin claims to have gay friends – and he even likes Elton John!!! – but he still equates LGBT folk with pedophiles. I wonder how his “pedophile” friends view this opinion.

He loves Elton John and has gay friends, but Russian President Vladimir Putin equated LGBT people to pedophiles and suggested “cleaning up” Russia of their influence in a robust defense of the country’s anti-gay law before the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month.

In an interview taped Friday and broadcast Sunday, Putin told Russian and foreign news anchors that nobody who protested the law during the Olympics would be arrested for “gay propaganda” and claimed to be uninterested in people’s sexual orientation. A transcript of the interview was posted on the Kremlin’s website.

“None of our guests will have any problems with this,” Putin said. “There are no fears for people with this nontraditional orientation who plan to come to Sochi as guests or participants,” he added.

Nonetheless, Putin attempted to deflect the firestorm of international criticism over the law that has overshadowed the Games.

Full story

signature

“Mayor” of Sochi’s Olympic Village Defends Russia’s Anti-LGBT Law

Naturally they’re going to appoint a politician who voted FOR the law as “mayor” of the Olympic village. *rolls eyes* Ya know what? If you don’t want your children being exposed in some way to any LGBT view points during the Olympics, how about you just not air any of the Olympics on YOUR television channels? They’re state controlled, aren’t they?

A “mayor” of the Sochi Olympic Village has defended Russia’s law against “gay propaganda” ahead of the Winter Games next month.

Svetlana Zhurova, a gold medal-winning figure skater and lawmaker in the Russian parliament who voted for the bill last June, said in an interview on the independent Russian TV channel Dozhd that she “voted to stop people promoting it to minors.”

Full story

signature

LGBT Rights Group to be an Official Sponsor of Australian Men’s Bobsled Team

Woot! Love those Aussies!!

With just weeks left before the Sochi Winter Games, both the Australian Men’s and Women’s bobsled teams have announced partnerships with the Principle 6 Campaign to show support for Russia’s LGBT community.

“We’re against discrimination in sport, full stop,” said Heath Spence, captain of the Australian Men’s bobsled team. “That means we also oppose discrimination against gay and lesbian athletes.”

The campaign, named after the International Olympic Committee’s nondiscrimination clause, Principle 6, opposes anti-LGBT policies and discrimination in Russia and was formed early last month by two non-profits, Athlete Ally and All Out. Starting this week, the Principle 6 Campaign becomes an official sponsor for the men’s team with its logo appearing on its bobsled at the World Cup event in Lake Placid, New York.

Full story

signature

Obama Picks Openly Gay Delegates For Winter Olympics

Well, well, well Mr President. I must applaud you for this step. A very bold move.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced his delegates to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And, in what may be a thumb in the eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin over his crackdown on gay rights, two of Obama’s delegates are openly gay.

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend, and Caitlin Cahow, an Olympic medalist in women’s ice hockey, are both part of the U.S. delegation. Both are out lesbians.

Another member of the U.S. delegation, figure skating Olympic medalist Brian Boitano, routinely declines to answer questions about his sexuality, saying “everybody’s got their own path” to discovering who they are.

Others in the delegation include University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former Homeland Security secretary; U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul; White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors; Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, and speed skating Olympic medalists Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden.

Full story

signature

Russian Government Spies On LGBT Activists

… portray[s] them as part of [a] Western “Homosexualist Invasion”.

This is heartbreaking. Especially if you see the photo on the original story link. 😥

Russian officials bugged a private strategy meeting convened by Russian LGBT activists and four major international human rights organizations in October, an intensification of the campaign to clamp down on LGBT rights ahead of the Olympic games in Sochi.

This surveillance was revealed on Nov. 12, when a state television channel broadcast audio from the meeting as part of a program presented as an exposé of the “threat to Russia” posed by the “homosexualists who attempt to infiltrate our country.”

The inclusion of a few minutes of this audio sent a chill through human rights activists in Russia and abroad. The Russian government has actively suppressed public speech in support of LGBT rights under its ban on the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors.” But this was the first time activists were aware that authorities had actively spied on strategy meetings organized in private, and it was taken as a sign that the government may be seriously escalating its crackdown on LGBT rights as it looks ahead to the Olympic Games in February.

Full story

signature