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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 14012 times)

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Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #225 on: August 25, 2013, 11:46:51 AM »
I'm intensely confused by this, Ephiral. 
1) I don't see your chain of logic in the slightest.  Why must I claim that civil rights don't exist?
Because civil rights are overwhelmingly instituted to protect minorities from the majority. If simple majority is all you're concerned about when legislating, then civil rights - a legal construct enacted specifically to restrain action by the majority - are invalid on their face.
2) If civil rights don't exist, how can they be immoral and wrong?
An invalid law which constrains actions you consider right and just strikes me as pretty immoral and wrong.
3) If I'm saying they don't exist then your argument is upside down - the null hypothesis is that they don't, and it requires more from you than "because I said so" to show they do.
...I think I'm misreading here, because you seem to be asserting that the null hypothesis is on your side for no discernable reason. I would argue that the null hypothesis is that all people should receive equal treatment from society - if you're going to single a group out for different handling, you need a justification for that distinction. If that different handling is abusive, you need one hell of a justification.

Alright but that's not the issue is it? Nobody in Russia who 'hate' homosexuals will really care what you think or not. For them, homosexuality is dangerous and wrong so the Russian government, which has the plight to protect the Russian people, implements a law to protect them.

Human rights have got nothing to do with this.

No. See, here's the thing. They assert that homosexuality is dangerous and wrong; they are, much like every group that has ever asserted this, completely unable to substantiate this claim. Ergo, there is nothing to protect them from but their own bigotry, and therefore that bigotry should not be enshrined in law.

If a majority of Russians were to claim that wealth is poofed into existence by magical fairies when nobody's looking, should Russia set economic policy based on this belief? Or should the law be based on things that are actually demonstrably real?

As for human rights: What do you call it when approximately 14 million people are told that they cannot express any romantic interest in public, but others can beat them brutally with impunity? This is a human rights issue - the right to pursue happiness, and the right to be reasonably secure from violence. Pretending otherwise only makes you look the fool.

Russian democracy is only young and things will change.

How, exactly, do you think things like this change? How have they always changed? (Hint: Generally not by people sitting back and waiting for things to get better.)
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 12:07:58 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #226 on: August 25, 2013, 12:01:06 PM »
Alright let's agree to disagree again. You think every country works the way your country works and it doesn't. So I cannot convince you that the law makes sense in Russia and is not contradictory to human rights, and you cannot convince me with your points.

So rather than let this drag on forever, I respect your points (despite you probably not respecting mine) and understand where you are coming from but it doesn't work that way in every country.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #227 on: August 25, 2013, 12:07:43 PM »
Alright let's agree to disagree again. You think every country works the way your country works and it doesn't. So I cannot convince you that the law makes sense in Russia and is not contradictory to human rights, and you cannot convince me with your points.
No. Stop attributing positions that I do not and never have held to me. This has nothing to do with how things are run in my country at all; this has to do with treating fellow human beings decently. Can you seriously assert that "ew, that's icky" is as serious a concern as real, actual violence? Does a law "make sense" just because the people whose abuse it enables are a minority?

If you are asserting that it is not contradictory to human rights, you will have to demonstrate that it does not interfere with the ability of approximately 14 million Russians to find romance or live free from violence. Good luck with that.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 12:09:04 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #228 on: August 25, 2013, 12:23:23 PM »
No. Stop attributing positions that I do not and never have held to me. This has nothing to do with how things are run in my country at all; this has to do with treating fellow human beings decently. Can you seriously assert that "ew, that's icky" is as serious a concern as real, actual violence? Does a law "make sense" just because the people whose abuse it enables are a minority?

If you are asserting that it is not contradictory to human rights, you will have to demonstrate that it does not interfere with the ability of approximately 14 million Russians to find romance or live free from violence. Good luck with that.

Look, you know nothing about Russia obviously. The violence in Russia doesn't come from people hating homosexuals. I don't know where you got that idea. Yes one or two stories about homosexuals being beaten up have made it to the news but that doesn't make it the biggest problem in Russia not does it warrent the mass hysteria you all think it deserves.

There are millions of Russians living in fear of violence, not just homosexuals, a law doesn't change that but it is merely a tool to keep the masses at ease. If that has to come at the cost of a small minority, I can live with that even when I'm part of that minority.
You are blessed by living in a country that is stable and has no major internal issues, Russia isn't as blessed and in order to keep the country together and keep the country peacefull, some minority groups might get disadvantaged. Again, so be it.

Russia's been teethering on the brink of a civil war for almost three years now and although I'm not a big fan of the Putin regime anymore, he is doing a damn fine job of keeping the situation from escalating like they have done in Syria and Libya. Without him and without him making laws like this, Russia would have been reduced to shreds and if you think 'oh well how bad can that be', I'll advice you to watch the movie Sum of all Fears because that is more realistic than people think.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #229 on: August 25, 2013, 12:39:31 PM »
Look, you know nothing about Russia obviously. The violence in Russia doesn't come from people hating homosexuals. I don't know where you got that idea. Yes one or two stories about homosexuals being beaten up have made it to the news but that doesn't make it the biggest problem in Russia not does it warrent the mass hysteria you all think it deserves.
So violence doesn't come from people who hate gays. Except the incidents you personally admit where people were beaten for being perceived as gay or in support of gay people. Riiiiiight.

As for it not warranting attention ("hysteria" is extremely hyperbolic and demeaning for what I've actually been saying): Exactly how many people need to be beaten before it's worthy of noticing, let alone calling out that which enables these beatings as a bad idea?

There are millions of Russians living in fear of violence, not just homosexuals, a law doesn't change that but it is merely a tool to keep the masses at ease. If that has to come at the cost of a small minority, I can live with that even when I'm part of that minority.
And that violence is also wrong and I condemn it. The idea that we can only deal with one problemat once is outmoded and false.

So you're okay with some people's peace of mind against an imaginary threat being bought with the safety of others? I... I don't even know what to say to this. Would you also support laws against witchcraft, which resulted in real people being killed as accused witches?

You are blessed by living in a country that is stable and has no major internal issues, Russia isn't as blessed and in order to keep the country together and keep the country peacefull, some minority groups might get disadvantaged. Again, so be it.
Fuck that noise. Any entity that can only exist by abusing people it is obliged to protect does not deserve to exist. If you assert that the only way Russia can go on is with this law (despite twenty years of counterevidence), I say Russia deserves to die.

And yes, I would say the same thing of Canada.

Russia's been teethering on the brink of a civil war for almost three years now and although I'm not a big fan of the Putin regime anymore, he is doing a damn fine job of keeping the situation from escalating like they have done in Syria and Libya. Without him and without him making laws like this, Russia would have been reduced to shreds and if you think 'oh well how bad can that be', I'll advice you to watch the movie Sum of all Fears because that is more realistic than people think.

So your justification for abusing people to stop an imaginary threat is... a movie-plot scenario. I don't find this terribly compelling.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 12:43:14 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #230 on: August 25, 2013, 12:52:34 PM »
Because civil rights are overwhelmingly instituted to protect minorities from the majority. If simple majority is all you're concerned about when legislating, then civil rights - a legal construct enacted specifically to restrain action by the majority - are invalid on their face.

and

Quote
An invalid law which constrains actions you consider right and just strikes me as pretty immoral and wrong

I see.  I think you have conflated "civil rights" and "civil rights legislation" a little there which is what confused me.  Your arguments focus on civil rights laws, not on the existence of those rights.  It's possible to have a right that isn't supported by law.

Quote
....I think I'm misreading here, because you seem to be asserting that the null hypothesis is on your side for no discernable reason. I would argue that the null hypothesis is that all people should receive equal treatment from society - if you're going to single a group out for different handling, you need a justification for that distinction. If that different handling is abusive, you need one hell of a justification.

Quote from: Wikipedia
Hypothesis testing works by collecting data and measuring how likely the particular set of data is, assuming the null hypothesis is true. If the data-set is very unlikely, defined as being part of a class of sets of data that only rarely will be observed, the experimenter rejects the null hypothesis concluding it (probably) is false

The "should" in your second sentence is the problem here.  I don't doubt that that should be the case.  However, it isn't.  No society ever has had equal treatment for all people.  Including present day ones.

If what you think should be the case actually is then every single society in human history has rejected the null hypothesis, which is either the biggest statistical fluke ever or, more likely, a mischosen null hypothesis.  If the null is that some demographs will be discriminated against, then the theory holds true without exception, if that its that they won't then it never holds true without exception.

I think your argument is a combination of wishful thinking and politics - an idealised view.


Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #231 on: August 25, 2013, 12:56:09 PM »
I'm saying that if it keeps Russia together as a relatively peaceful country then yes I am okay with laws that will make the majority of the people happy and safe and satisfied. Nobody is being killed because of this law, they are just asked to keep it to themselves. If that means they cannot be happy as you seem to think, that is their problem and probably yours as well.

You see it as abuse which I think is a mild exaggeration of the law. Keeping your sexuality in the house is not abuse. The fact that you see it as abuse probably says more about you than about the law or the people supporting the law.



Now I didn't want to bring this up because it probably adds a whole new chapter to this already rather pointless discussion but let me ask you a question.

You say that everybody should accept homo and bi sexuals and transgenders right?

But at the same time you have NO respect whatsoever for people who are against it because of their religious beliefs. (which is the big chunk of the Russians)

They have to respect you but you don't respect them? If that's how you feel, I think you need a lesson in what respect is.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #232 on: August 25, 2013, 02:49:45 PM »
Everyone needs to take a step back.

I'm locking this thread for 24 hours.

Please remember that there are people on the other side of the screen when you comment again.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 10:34:34 PM by Oniya »

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #233 on: August 26, 2013, 11:20:40 PM »
Well... I HAD a really big post written out, but... the thread got locked while I was typing... so I guess I'll just briefly sum up what I remember.

Tolerating intolerance is counter productive to the goal of tolerance. Its also not fair to compare people getting beaten and jailed for expressing themselves in ways that are perfectly acceptable for others; to telling the people doing that to knock it off. They're simply not even comparable.

I had more to say than that... but I forgot it all :<

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #234 on: August 27, 2013, 01:08:11 AM »
I'm saying that if it keeps Russia together as a relatively peaceful country then yes I am okay with laws that will make the majority of the people happy and safe and satisfied. Nobody is being killed because of this law, they are just asked to keep it to themselves. If that means they cannot be happy as you seem to think, that is their problem and probably yours as well.
The law might not specifically enshrine violence, but it lets those inclined to violence know that, don't worry, the government finds LGBT people icky, too. And sure enough, LGBT people and their supporters get beaten while police do nothing. Saying that all that's being asked is to keep it indoors is disingenuous, to put it mildly. "Never show anything which could be interpreted by random onlookers as "un-masculine" or "un-feminine" or risk violence you can do nothing about" would be more apt. I still reject the idea that Russia will immediately collapse into a horrendous civil war if bigotry is not enshrined in law, and submit the past twenty years as my evidence. Do you have any counterevidence of equal or greater weight?

You see it as abuse which I think is a mild exaggeration of the law. Keeping your sexuality in the house is not abuse. The fact that you see it as abuse probably says more about you than about the law or the people supporting the law.
Denying equality is mildly abusive. Condoning violence (which, regardless of the law's content, Russian officials have done) is abusive. Taking away even non-violent means of self-defense from the victims of this violence is wildly abusive.

And then there's the matter of trans* folks. See, this law might be intended to just stop gay people, but what it actually enforces in practice is gender stereotypes. So anyone who does not or cannot fit those stereotypes will be targeted - and that includes the overwhelming majority of trans* folks. Going by statistics, there are about 450 000 trans* people in Russia. Are you really okay with telling half a million people that walking out their front door is now a crime? (Assuming they still have a front door - housing discrimination is A Thing.) Are you okay with telling them that the already-horrific levels of violence they now face are about to go up, and the state has officially declared that they'd better not look to it for help?

Now I didn't want to bring this up because it probably adds a whole new chapter to this already rather pointless discussion but let me ask you a question.

You say that everybody should accept homo and bi sexuals and transgenders right?

But at the same time you have NO respect whatsoever for people who are against it because of their religious beliefs. (which is the big chunk of the Russians)

They have to respect you but you don't respect them? If that's how you feel, I think you need a lesson in what respect is.
Seriously? You think "Why won't you tolerate my intolerance?" is going to be a trump card here?

Short answers: Because the two acts are not equivalent - one causes absolutely zero harm and only some mild discomfort, the other causes real, measurable harm. Because the two groups are not equal - one is starting at a supreme disadvantage, so "equal treatment" is a bit of a fallacy. Because "good person" doesn't mean "accepts absolutely anything other people do" to anybody. Because "good person" means "tries to maximize happiness and minimize pain across the population" to me, and the pain LGBT people face in Russia's current climate is far greater than the pain bigots face at letting other people live their lives without interference. Because the first intolerance came from the other side, so the onus for ending it is on them. Because the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Long answer, kinda complex.
The following is founded on basic game theory; I think I've given a good explanation here, but if not, feel free to take it to my inbox. In-depth explanation is just a bit off-topic for the thread, but it's kinda important when it comes to ethical theory.

Because a significant chunk of human interaction, this included, is essentially iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. At any juncture where you're trying to coexist and share anything - including, say, public space, a voice in your nation, rights and freedoms - with your fellow person, you can choose to cooperate - in which case everybody gets most of what they want - or betray. If you betray and the other guy cooperates, you win everything and they get nothing! If both of you betray, well, then it's an ugly fight to see who can grab what, and nobody winds up with as much as they would've gotten with either of the first two options.

Given this situation, we obviously need a way to punish those who betray, who try to seize everything. If we always cooperate, then the first untrustworthy party we meet will take us for everything we have, and eventually kill us off. Not a good ending. Unfortunately, the only thing we can do is betray in kind. This leads us to what is pretty much the optimal solution - tit for tat. Cooperate in the beginning, then do whatever the other guy did last time. If both sides approach the problem like this, then it's a very stable state of cooperation! Everyone wins! If one side betrays, they know things are going to go downhill fast - betrayal might be a short-term win, but in the long term they'll get far more out of just cooperating and coexisting. A cycle of betrayal needs one party to break the tit-for-tat ploy - to trust enough to cooperate again - but then it immediately snaps back to a stable state of cooperation. This doesn't always hold - if one side is overwhelmingly more powerful than they other and not bound by other constraints, "betrayal" can take the form of war, genocide, or purges that completely destroy the lesser party - but in general you can expect it to be true.

So how does this apply to Russia? Well, we have two parties - LGBT people and hetcis folks - who have, more or less, cooperated for twenty years. Now one side has betrayed - tried to legislate away the rights of the other side. If LGBT folks cooperate and say "That's okay, be as intolerant as you want! We accept that!", then there is exactly no incentive to hetcis people to stop the oppression or prevent it from getting worse. We need a disincentive - it's time to betray in kind, to reject that intolerance and call it out for what it is, to stand up.

EDIT: Clarified my second response a bit.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 01:46:10 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #235 on: August 27, 2013, 02:17:25 AM »
That was actually a very interesting take on it Ephiral. Personally, I don't think the whole of interpersonal and political relations can be boiled down into such simple concepts, but it certainly does give a good general picture and illustrates why simply rolling over and taking it, or letting others get away with injustice and intolerance is not an ideal approach. If you keep letting them do it without consequence, human nature states they'll keep doing it. People will generally not stop doing something that profits them, or even simply doesn't harm them, unless something changes, and the easiest something to field in this situation would be outside pressure.

Simply put, the people who have the power aren't going to stop abusing it simply because 'its wrong', they need to have it made clear that these homophobic policies are going to be more trouble than they're worth in the long run.

And as you pointed out, these laws make it so that, strictly speaking, gays in Russia can't even peacefully protest the law, because protesting in favor of homosexuality in public would be considered the exact kind of "propaganda" that this law bans. This means the people in Russia are not exactly the most well-equipped to upset the status quo that's allowed this law to pass without outside assistance.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #236 on: August 27, 2013, 02:36:33 AM »
That was actually a very interesting take on it Ephiral. Personally, I don't think the whole of interpersonal and political relations can be boiled down into such simple concepts, but it certainly does give a good general picture and illustrates why simply rolling over and taking it, or letting others get away with injustice and intolerance is not an ideal approach. If you keep letting them do it without consequence, human nature states they'll keep doing it. People will generally not stop doing something that profits them, or even simply doesn't harm them, unless something changes, and the easiest something to field in this situation would be outside pressure.
Well, yes, there are lots of other factors added into the mix - status, perception, power dynamics, etc. This is a simplified model, the core of the problem of how to interact with other people with competing interests. Implicit in every action we take is the decision to either work together or betray, and there must be a cost to betrayal if cooperation is ever going to be an option. Single-celled organisms understand this; I find it hard to believe that human beings can fail to anywhere near as often as the question comes up.

Simply put, the people who have the power aren't going to stop abusing it simply because 'its wrong', they need to have it made clear that these homophobic policies are going to be more trouble than they're worth in the long run.

And as you pointed out, these laws make it so that, strictly speaking, gays in Russia can't even peacefully protest the law, because protesting in favor of homosexuality in public would be considered the exact kind of "propaganda" that this law bans. This means the people in Russia are not exactly the most well-equipped to upset the status quo that's allowed this law to pass without outside assistance.
Right. No civil rights battle - not a single damn one - has ever been won without allies. Further... I honestly don't see what relevance national borders hold to the question of solidarity. "This is acceptable because it doesn't affect me personally" is a monstrous position to take - a complete and total failure of empathy.

Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #237 on: August 27, 2013, 03:17:14 AM »
Everything I say you keep replying with abuse and terror and violence. I'm not sure where you got that image. You reply everything with your perspective, living in a free country with very open minded people apparently.

It is not abusive and denying a state religion practiced by millions of people saying it's oppressive is just ridiculous.

Most religions in the world do not support homosexuality, which is intolerant I agree, but by saying all religious people are intolerant and oppresive and therefore deserve no respect... well that's not really thte way to go. At least not for me.

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #238 on: August 27, 2013, 03:59:15 AM »
I live in America, home of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Its not the worst country in the world, but its certainly got its share of narrow minded bigots.

And I'm getting that image from the /literal/ images I've been seeing of pro-gay protesters beaten and bleeding while cops sat by and did jack.

I'm not saying that religious people deserve no respect. They deserve the same respect afforded to every other human being. What I am saying is that their OPINIONS deserve no respect. I respect their right to hate homosexuals, I respect their right to express their hatred.

But as the saying goes: your liberty to swing your fist ends just where my nose begins. Their right to express their hatred ends where someone else's basic human rights begin.

And while I'm quoting quotes, in the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali; "Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice."

Now, I should clarify, I've NEVER claimed that all religious people are intolerant. My grandparents are devout Catholics and the most welcoming and loving people I've ever met. Buddhists in general, also have a very live-and-let-live outlook. The Dalai Llama has said before that while Buddhism strictly speaking states that homosexuality is not good, it is up to the individual to decide what is right for them, and if homosexuality is right for you, then its right for you... the topic of Buddhism in Myanmar at the moment and their level of tolerance is a topic for another thread.

But in general, my point is, there are plenty of tolerant and loving religious people out there. That does not mean I have to willingly and silently allow those who ARE intolerant to strip away the rights of others.

And its worth noting that religions ban a lot of things that most of their practitioners ignore. Every time you see a Christian eat shellfish, they're committing just as grave a sin, according to the Bible, as if they were to engage in gay sex.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #239 on: August 27, 2013, 04:09:58 AM »
Everything I say you keep replying with abuse and terror and violence. I'm not sure where you got that image. You reply everything with your perspective, living in a free country with very open minded people apparently.
First things first: You have repeatedly insisted that I must live in some kind of utopia, in order to hold the standards that I do.

Stop it.

You do not know my history. You know nothing of where I live. A large part of the reason I see this as important is because I know what it's like to be targeted and assaulted for being different, and to have the police that were supposed to protect you say "Well, you probably shouldn't have gotten in the way of so many fists." To have institutional authorities blame and punish you for the act of being visible to bigots. The reason this is important to me is because I don't want anyone else to have to go through that.

All right. Now... where could I have possibly gotten the impression that state approval of homophobia will lead to abuse, terror, and violence? Maybe it was here. or here. Or here. Or from my personal experiences of being assaulted and dismissed by authorities, after which my attackers learned they could do it with impunity.

It is not abusive and denying a state religion practiced by millions of people saying it's oppressive is just ridiculous.
I don't think I said a word about any religion in this thread. I am speaking to specific policies and practices, regardless of the identity of the people backing the policies or committing the actions. As to the "ridiculousness" of calling this oppression: Can you define what "oppression" means to you, please? We seem to be operating under two different definitions; denying people protection under the law and telling them they must keep a major portion of themselves carefully locked away certainly fits mine.

Most religions in the world do not support homosexuality, which is intolerant I agree, but by saying all religious people are intolerant and oppresive and therefore deserve no respect... well that's not really thte way to go. At least not for me.
Are you claiming that I did this? If so, please quote me saying that "all religious people are intolerant and oppressive and therefore deserve no respect". In fact, quote me saying anything on religion at all in this thread prior to this post. Either that, or admit that this is a blatant straw man.

That straw man, by the way, appears to have been posted in lieu of actually responding to any of my real points. You claim that "everything you say" gets a response of abuse, terror, and violence, while ignoring my responses to your cry for me to tolerate bigotry - which contained none of that. You still haven't even begun to substantiate your claim that Russia would literally fall apart without this bigoted law. You've ignored the fact that this law pretty much criminalizes the existence of half a million people. Are you conceding these points?

Offline Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #240 on: August 27, 2013, 04:23:01 AM »
I will explain that last bit in a PM if you are interested. It has nothing to do with this topic.

You never said anything about religion, you commented on my post mentioning it.

I have to stop thinking I know anything about you? That's alright if you stop acting like you know Russia. These three links.. one American, one European Gay newspaper and youtube are not very reliable sources when it comes to Russian politics. Nothing really is because none of these 'news sources' know anything of what's going on in Russia (which I will explain if you are interested in a PM).

You relate everything to yourself, which I guess is understandable but not the point. You know how it feels to be targetted and assaulted. So do I. But I do understand where 'they' are coming from. Never in this whole topic did I say I agree with any of it but I understand it and I respect their opinions on it. Do I suggest they all go out and beat homosexuals or transgenders? No. Not at all, but again, I understand and respect the way they think about 'us'.


As for Finn,

I was (un)lucky enough to live in the Netherlands when Hirsi Ali was still in politics here. That woman did nothing but cause unrest here which is why she needed 24 hour a day protection. I'm not sure what she's doing in the US, but I'm guessing it's still the same. But again that's a whole different discussion.

So Ephiral if you want me to explain why I think Russia should keep this law to keep the masses happy, send me a PM and I'll gladly explain, it might help you understand a bit more where I'm coming from.

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #241 on: August 27, 2013, 04:39:24 AM »
I'll be honest, I don't know much about her as a person or as a political activist, but I don't see how it has any bearing on the validity of the quote.

If Hitler said the sun was hot, the sun would still be hot.

Also, you claim that non-Russian news sites are invalid sources which... is flawed logic. Especially given that any Russian news site at the moment couldn't really print much in the way of pro-gay articles without risking being accused of 'propaganda'.

I'm not sure there's much else for me to say that I haven't already said, but I think a point of conflict is the idea that respecting them as people and understanding where they're coming from needs to be coupled with excusing their actions and not calling them out on it.

I would argue its entirely possible to understand where someone is coming from, and to respect them as an individual, while still refusing to tolerate the injustice they're perpetrating.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #242 on: August 27, 2013, 06:15:23 AM »
It is not abusive and denying a state religion practiced by millions of people saying it's oppressive is just ridiculous.

Most religions in the world do not support homosexuality, which is intolerant I agree, but by saying all religious people are intolerant and oppresive and therefore deserve no respect... well that's not really thte way to go. At least not for me.


Nobody is denying the Russian orthodox believers their right to worship or trying to push them down into the catacombs. The obvious point of Ephi's argument is that the church shouldn't have such a privileged seat when it comes to making politics. The Russian church and Putin's regime are bedfellows, just like under the Romanov Tsars, and your defence of the anti-gay clause also seems to boil down lately to this: it's the belief of the orthodox church and its faithful that homosexuality is immoral and dangerous, so they should have their way through law:

Nobody in Russia who 'hate' homosexuals will really care what you think or not. For them, homosexuality is dangerous and wrong so the Russian government, which has the plight to protect the Russian people, implements a law to protect them.

Human rights have got nothing to do with this.

 - to create peace in a society that's being ripped apart by violent tensions (does the gay threat have anything to do with that violence?)

Besides, I think Ephiral is quite right about the scope of this legislation. Nominally it's only about "propaganda" about homosexual sex and other 'unusual' forms of sex being dissmeninated "to underage people", but in reality, in a society which is already seeing a lot of anti-gay sentiments and anti-LGBT violence, that wording is designed to push LGBT people back into their homes and apartments, ban any kind of "gay/bi presence" on their own terms in the public realm, in the media, through public rallies, entertainment at clubs, discos and stage events, literature etc. Or even trying to find a partner - how can you find a partner if the mere presence of a gay/lesbian themed club, bar, magazine or web site equals propaganda, and if trying to make overtures of your own to somebody you only half know (like straight people do all the time) risks sending you to jail too?

Any of those could be described as 'trying to push the issue up in the face of underage persons'. Even trying to defend themselves in court or in the media after acts of harassment, break-ins or campaigns of vilification would be slammed as "trying to spread propaganda to the underaged" - a 16-year old can attend a trial or read a magazine too, can't he?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 06:36:22 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #243 on: August 27, 2013, 08:41:16 AM »
Interesting point made in today's Cracked  (point 4 on the list).

Difficult to see how PDAs will be banned then?

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #244 on: August 27, 2013, 08:50:41 AM »
Difficult to see how PDAs will be banned then?

Why? It says right there in that very article that if they had indeed been doing what everybody mistook it for, they "could get ... fined, banned from ever competing in another race, or thrown in freaking prison (or even all three)".

Offline Neysha

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #245 on: August 27, 2013, 08:53:00 AM »
Interesting point made in today's Cracked  (point 4 on the list).

Difficult to see how PDAs will be banned then?

Oh man, reading Point Number One from your link was hilarious.



I'll just leave this here with no context.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #246 on: August 27, 2013, 08:55:25 AM »
Interesting point made in today's Cracked  (point 4 on the list).

Difficult to see how PDAs will be banned then?

It's no harder than when Britney Spears and whatever other star it was exchanged a wet girl-on-girl kiss. Everybody knows Britney is no lesbian, anymore than Madonna or Debbie Harry is, but the roles they'll take on at a record industry gala event don't have anything much to do with their "real" private selves. It was about titillation and creatinga good photo op. The media like that kind of thing. If those two athletes had been gay and kissing in the street, they would have risked going to jail and being banned from competition.

[EDIT: the next comment is about the entry at the top of Kythia's linked page, the one that was tagged #4 there)

I guess the trouble is the preacher didn't know the same-sex subtext of that image, didn't know that to most people who know those characters it does connect to a same-sex marriage theme. And in Russia (or in the U.S., except it's not done in courts, but in some churches, in the open media and so on) the inference that a picture, a book, a club is engaging in "gay propaganda" is often going to be about what kind of subtext is brought up around the image etc.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 09:06:05 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #247 on: August 27, 2013, 10:42:25 AM »
I will explain that last bit in a PM if you are interested. It has nothing to do with this topic.
Which bit would this be? Last bit I mentioned was your failure to engage my points, which seems pretty germane.

You never said anything about religion, you commented on my post mentioning it.
Right. So why are you bringing up "denying a state religion and claiming it's oppressive"* and "saying all religious people are intolerant and oppresive and therefore deserve no respect" as if I'm doing them?

I have to stop thinking I know anything about you? That's alright if you stop acting like you know Russia. These three links.. one American, one European Gay newspaper and youtube are not very reliable sources when it comes to Russian politics. Nothing really is because none of these 'news sources' know anything of what's going on in Russia (which I will explain if you are interested in a PM).
There's an obvious difference you're deliberately overlooking here: There isn't a massive amount of information on me at your fingertips. Your attempt to claim that only sources which are legally barred from talking about gay people in anything but a negative manner are reliable is laughable at best - are you claiming the incidents I cite didn't happen? Note that that youtube video - and many of the ones in the sidebar on that page - was put up by someone who is proudly attacking gay people with impunity in Russia. The truth doesn't go away because you don't like where it comes from.

You relate everything to yourself, which I guess is understandable but not the point. You know how it feels to be targetted and assaulted. So do I. But I do understand where 'they' are coming from. Never in this whole topic did I say I agree with any of it but I understand it and I respect their opinions on it. Do I suggest they all go out and beat homosexuals or transgenders? No. Not at all, but again, I understand and respect the way they think about 'us'.
...so empathy has no place in determining how it is appropriate to treat people? This is your argument? I understand very well where 'they' are coming from. And their arguments do not hold up under examination. I am under no obligation to respect a way of thinking that is both factually wrong and causing real, measurable harm. Do you have similar respect for the Ugandan government's right to murder people for being gay?

*Just realised I forgot to follow up on this. Important point: The Russian Orthodox Church is not Russia's state religion. It just acts like it is.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 11:09:19 AM by Ephiral »

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #248 on: August 27, 2013, 10:44:25 AM »
I'm really not sure you're right (Louise and Avis - Ephiral posted while I was typing).  If same sex kissing is only gay propaganda when the participants are gay and then only in certain circumstances (i.e. not the ones where same sex kissing would be acceptable) then it makes that aspect of the law impossible to enforce surely?  Without a central register of who's gay and who isn't, how is a distinction being made between two actions - one of which you claim will be illegal - that look absolutely identical?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #249 on: August 27, 2013, 10:47:37 AM »
I'm really not sure you're right (Louise and Avis - Ephiral posted while I was typing).  If same sex kissing is only gay propaganda when the participants are gay and then only in certain circumstances (i.e. not the ones where same sex kissing would be acceptable) then it makes that aspect of the law impossible to enforce surely?  Without a central register of who's gay and who isn't, how is a distinction being made between two actions - one of which you claim will be illegal - that look absolutely identical?
Look identical from the outside. This is a deep-rooted part of Russian culture, and I'm reasonably sure that immersion in it makes a huge difference here. Note that no Russian sources seemed to think that this was a gay-rights thing; the surrounding context is strongly likely to make it clear with signals that we, as outsiders, are blind to.