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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 13992 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2013, 02:40:19 PM »
The indifference of local law enforcement to threats against a minority has caused tragedy at the Olympics before.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #76 on: August 14, 2013, 02:42:56 PM »
The tyranny of the majority is a very serious problem for a democratic system; these laws were meant to redress that. The majority generally do oppose them when they comeinto being, though I think my initial statement was a bit too broad - gay rights laws in several nations are unusual in having enjoyed broad support before being passed. These are the exception, though - most of the voting public didn't want women's suffrage, or the Civil Rights Act, for example. This does not mean that they are bad laws - it means that they are even more vital.

A law is more vital when it has less support? That would make the tax increases against all electoral promises an immensely vital law in that case. While I agree that the laws you mentioned are good, I don't agree with the reasoning of reaching that conclusion.

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #77 on: August 14, 2013, 03:05:00 PM »
A law is more vital when it has less support? That would make the tax increases against all electoral promises an immensely vital law in that case. While I agree that the laws you mentioned are good, I don't agree with the reasoning of reaching that conclusion.
A law to protect the rights of the minority from the majority is more vital when it has less support, yes. Tax increases are desperately needed in the US, too, but that's due to economics, not lack of popularity.

Offline Moraline

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2013, 03:05:09 PM »
I just want assurances that the athletes and spectators will be safe and safe with their loved ones. At this point, I don't see anyone giving assurances to protect them.

The only thing being said is, "Don't let us catch you being gay or we'll arrest you. Deal with it."


*edit* Correct me if I'm wrong.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 03:07:13 PM by Moraline »

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2013, 03:10:43 PM »
I just want assurances that the athletes and spectators will be safe and safe with their loved ones. At this point, I don't see anyone giving assurances to protect them.

The only thing being said is, "Don't let us catch you being gay or we'll arrest you. Deal with it."

That is an interpretation of what is said. I have yet to hear that literal quote from the IOC or Russian Government. So far, all I can find in official quotes is a law against "propagandizing". Yes, it is unclear what exactly that entails, but issuing a statement such as "they threaten to throw gay people in jail for holding hands" is just as much an assumption as "you will only risk jail if you parade in pink feathers".

At this time the World Championships for Athletes are being held in Moscow, and I'd like to wait and see how that event is handled. If the Athletes of the World Championships will be safe, why wouldn't the Olympic Champions be?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #80 on: August 14, 2013, 04:30:35 PM »
The indifference of local law enforcement to threats against a minority has caused tragedy at the Olympics before.

Off topic, but what is being referred to here?  Munich?

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #81 on: August 14, 2013, 05:08:05 PM »
Well according to some people's judgmental errors, the whole world should ban the US Olympics anyway because you have a law in place that will effect some people.


Like gun ownership. The athletes could be shot by some halfwit hillbilly with a gun.


Let's hold ALL Olympics from now in Switzerland. Everybody loves Switzerland.

Here's the difference: If someone shot an Olympic athlete in the US, they'd be arrested and tried for it. In Russia right now, its the police that people are afraid of. A government can't always control what its people can do, but at the very least the athletes should not be afraid of the government itself. There is a huge difference between the /possibility/ that some crazy citizen will shoot someone, and the very real possibility of the local government throwing you in prison. There's also the simple fact that, as we've seen in the news, if some anti-gay bigots decided to assault some gay athletes, we have no assurances that the Russian police would even step in to stop it.

Offline Moraline

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #82 on: August 14, 2013, 05:09:03 PM »
That is an interpretation of what is said. I have yet to hear that literal quote from the IOC or Russian Government. So far, all I can find in official quotes is a law against "propagandizing". Yes, it is unclear what exactly that entails, but issuing a statement such as "they threaten to throw gay people in jail for holding hands" is just as much an assumption as "you will only risk jail if you parade in pink feathers".

At this time the World Championships for Athletes are being held in Moscow, and I'd like to wait and see how that event is handled. If the Athletes of the World Championships will be safe, why wouldn't the Olympic Champions be?
It sounds to me then that the laws are ambiguous at best.

That's not exactly an assurance that anyone is going to be safe.

Although, I do agree that if they are safe in Moscow then they should be safe at the Olympics but again we are waiting to see at this point.

Side note:
Quote
~ http://www.advocate.com/sports/2013/08/14/american-runner-dedicates-medal-gay-friends-moscow
~ BY Michelle Garcia August 14 2013

American Runner Dedicates Medal to Gay Friends in Moscow

I guess we'll see really soon just how these laws are going to be applied to the athletes and fans.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #83 on: August 14, 2013, 05:31:40 PM »
Every country and athlete is free to decide if he or she participates. They are free to go to Russia, witness the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the country but if they do not feel safe or have the urge to endulge in their homosexuality out on the streets, they shouldn't come. But on holiday to every nation you have to adapt to the rules and the laws that count in that country, whether they are a breach of human rights or not. (Which btw is a very vague term, thought up by some people.)

If you can and want to stick to those laws, you go there, if you can't or don't want to, stay at home.

Just to be 100% clear again.. I still do not agree with the law but the law is there and nothing can change that.


Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2013, 06:19:00 PM »
if they do not feel safe  . . .  they shouldn't come.

More to the point, if there's a good chance that athletes who've spent their lives training for an event that's now going to be held in atmosphere of fear or subjected to degrading laws contrary to basic human rights*, the IOC shouldn't ask them to go there, it should move the event somewhere else. That's the professionally and commercially sensible decision, which also happily looks to be the morally correct decision. The only question is whether there exists the backbone to do it... and that proposition from what we've seen so far may well be in doubt.

(* There is really nothing "vague" about the concept of "human rights" either, at least not as international law defines human rights. Extremely clearly spelled out in the UN Charter, for instance.)

Quote
Just to be 100% clear again.. I still do not agree with the law but the law is there and nothing can change that.

Well, actually laws can be and are changed all the time. Paticularly when people have the courage to speak out or do something about unjust laws. (Something other than saying, "why pick on one country when everybody has unjust laws," that is. Everybody gets a chance to reckon with what the world thinks of their laws and customs, and Russia in deliberately picking this fight has chosen theirs.) The Olympics, on the other hand, can be held any number of places.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 06:20:48 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Retribution

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #85 on: August 14, 2013, 06:52:27 PM »
I have actually faced well Soviets in competition since it was before the fall of Communism. I have a Romanian friend who is up there in years now, but was a political prisoner. He would have probably won a gold medal but was forbidden from competing because he did not follow the Party line. I also have acquaintances who were robbed of the chance to compete in the 80 Olympics because of the boycott. I also have other acquaintances who won medals in 84 but there is always the stigma that since the Eastern Block was not there as payback for 80 those medals mean less. Honestly I babbled all of the above to qualify this statement: the athletes never had much for issues I always got along fine with those of the Eastern Block despite the language barrier. It is just when you put politics into it things get fucked up.

Look Russia has been going through growing pains since the fall of the Soviets. The place was a mess right after and Putin despite his dictator like actions offered some stability that was needed. We are still seeing growing pains in that country and will for some time. We had growing pains in the US that culminated in the Civil War among other things. This law as yet another symptom of those growing pains and yes the law is wrong. But I strongly feel that using sports as a political bargaining chip or leverage point is wrong.

I agree with President Obama when he said the best thing that gay athletes can do is go and win medals. This is in the same spirit as Jesse Owens. And besides say what you will about Russia but Putin is not dumb. He will not create an international incident over this. If Hitler could figure that out back in the day I am sure Russia can now.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #86 on: August 14, 2013, 07:06:43 PM »
The athletes are weighing in:

Robbie Rogers is on the same page as Retribution.

Judith Arndt is pro-boycott but doesn't believe one will happen.

Jon Montgomery is taking a strong, principled stand for whatever everybody else decides is okay.

If the IOC won't move it -- and the likelihood is they won't -- then I'm coming around to this view: go forth, and make it the Gheyest Games EVAR. (It would, however, be nice if to see the IOC learn from history, for once.)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 07:17:29 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Florence

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #87 on: August 14, 2013, 08:18:07 PM »
Every country and athlete is free to decide if he or she participates. They are free to go to Russia, witness the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the country but if they do not feel safe or have the urge to endulge in their homosexuality out on the streets, they shouldn't come. But on holiday to every nation you have to adapt to the rules and the laws that count in that country, whether they are a breach of human rights or not. (Which btw is a very vague term, thought up by some people.)

If you can and want to stick to those laws, you go there, if you can't or don't want to, stay at home.

Just to be 100% clear again.. I still do not agree with the law but the law is there and nothing can change that.

Quote
...witness the hospitality of the people...

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

Quote
...or have the urge to endulge in their homosexuality out on the streets...

Just once, I want to see someone get arrested for indulging in their heterosexuality in public. Just once. In a way that doesn't violate OTHER laws, before anyone finds me a case of someone getting arrested for having sex in public.

Quote
But on holiday to every nation you have to adapt to the rules and the laws that count in that country, whether they are a breach of human rights or not.

Except that this isn't 'holiday', this is people who have been training in preparation of a chance to prove themselves on the world stage, now having to decide if they want to give up on that, at least for this year, or risk being arrested or hurt in a country that despises them.

Quote
I still do not agree with the law but the law is there and nothing can change that.

Laws are ideas made by people, and given power by people, and people have the power to change them. The only way laws are immune to change is if the people who want it changed are too cowardly to try.

The athletes are weighing in:

Robbie Rogers is on the same page as Retribution.

Judith Arndt is pro-boycott but doesn't believe one will happen.

Jon Montgomery is taking a strong, principled stand for whatever everybody else decides is okay.

If the IOC won't move it -- and the likelihood is they won't -- then I'm coming around to this view: go forth, and make it the Gheyest Games EVAR. (It would, however, be nice if to see the IOC learn from history, for once.)

Honestly, as much as I wish they would move the games, I don't really see it happening myself. At this point, I'm just sort of hoping for the best, because if something happens, then really all we can do is say "I told you so," and that won't undo the damage.

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #88 on: August 14, 2013, 09:01:35 PM »
(Which btw is a very vague term, thought up by some people.)

I think that "thought up by some people" covers 100% of all words and terms and ideas created by humans in the history of the universe, so I'm not sure it makes a great counterpoint.

That said, your posts in this thread have been, at times, incredibly insensitive and at times outright hateful in their tone.  I don't think "I'm gay, but..." justifies spouting homophobic rhetoric like a geyser.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #89 on: August 14, 2013, 09:08:31 PM »
Just once, I want to see someone get arrested for indulging in their heterosexuality in public. Just once. In a way that doesn't violate OTHER laws, before anyone finds me a case of someone getting arrested for having sex in public.

What's the distinction you're drawing there?  Engaging in a heterosexual act in public that wouldn't be illegal if it was an equivalent homosexual one?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #90 on: August 14, 2013, 09:39:59 PM »
Nope - engaging in a heterosexual act that would break the 'no homosexual propaganda' law if it was two homosexuals doing it.  I'd say an intense game of tonsil-hockey would be sufficient.

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #91 on: August 14, 2013, 10:56:39 PM »
What's the distinction you're drawing there?  Engaging in a heterosexual act in public that wouldn't be illegal if it was an equivalent homosexual one?
Nope - engaging in a heterosexual act that would break the 'no homosexual propaganda' law if it was two homosexuals doing it.  I'd say an intense game of tonsil-hockey would be sufficient.

I think technically a peck on the cheek between two who aren't relatives would be sufficient in Russia, though that may be an exaggeration.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #92 on: August 15, 2013, 12:17:23 AM »
That said, your posts in this thread have been, at times, incredibly insensitive and at times outright hateful in their tone.  I don't think "I'm gay, but..." justifies spouting homophobic rhetoric like a geyser.

I agree with this, but on the other hand... I do tend to think that if someone has actually had to be a gay person in Russia, some allowances should be made for how life in adverse circumstances can warp perspectives. It's worth thinking about the story of Harvey Milk, who had to fight against "leaders" of the gay community who genuinely believed -- and not without cause from their own experience -- that the correct advice was "just stay in the closet." They were wrong... but it wasn't entirely by their own fault that they were as beaten-down as they were. (And as his end proved, they were at least correct that there was mortal risk involved.)

I can't really blame or judge what Dashenka has said in this thread -- disagreeable as some of it is -- for just that reason. Heartbreaking though it may be, whole subcultures (or at least large subsets of them) can become subject to Stockholm Syndrome in the right circumstances. If any of us were in doubt whether the right circumstances exist in Russia, those doubts should surely be dispelled by this situation.

[EDIT: The funny thing is, I strongly suspect this post will offend Dashenka far, far more than what you just said. And Dashenka, I'm sorry about that, truly I am. I'm not setting out to piss you off or hurt you. But as a) a South African and b) an immigrant, I know a thing or two about minorities and collective Stockholm Syndrome. So I'm not speaking idly.]
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 12:25:56 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #93 on: August 15, 2013, 12:54:45 AM »
I agree with this, but on the other hand... I do tend to think that if someone has actually had to be a gay person in Russia, some allowances should be made for how life in adverse circumstances can warp perspectives. It's worth thinking about the story of Harvey Milk, who had to fight against "leaders" of the gay community who genuinely believed -- and not without cause from their own experience -- that the correct advice was "just stay in the closet." They were wrong... but it wasn't entirely by their own fault that they were as beaten-down as they were. (And as his end proved, they were at least correct that there was mortal risk involved.)

I can't really blame or judge what Dashenka has said in this thread -- disagreeable as some of it is -- for just that reason. Heartbreaking though it may be, whole subcultures (or at least large subsets of them) can become subject to Stockholm Syndrome in the right circumstances. If any of us were in doubt whether the right circumstances exist in Russia, those doubts should surely be dispelled by this situation.

[EDIT: The funny thing is, I strongly suspect this post will offend Dashenka far, far more than what you just said. And Dashenka, I'm sorry about that, truly I am. I'm not setting out to piss you off or hurt you. But as a) a South African and b) an immigrant, I know a thing or two about minorities and collective Stockholm Syndrome. So I'm not speaking idly.]

The thing is.. before Milk and folks like him stood up to be counted.. it WAS safer to stay in the closet and watch out for yourself. Mostly. There is some NASTY incidents, like one club fire/arson in New Orleans that I can recall where over a dozen folks died and NO ONE in the NOPD gave a damn.

Recently the LGBTG community didn't really come out in any real organized level till the HIV/AIDS issues in the early 80s. I remember a LOT of local politicians ignorantly going 'It's just a gay disease..' (and still do in some areas.. butt ignorant fools)

I know that there were several very nasty murders near where I lived growing up. Quietly swept under the rug and long forgotten sadly.

My point, meandering though it might be, it hasn't been that terribly long since things 'got better' for the LGBTG community.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #94 on: August 15, 2013, 01:00:26 AM »
I think that "thought up by some people" covers 100% of all words and terms and ideas created by humans in the history of the universe, so I'm not sure it makes a great counterpoint.

That said, your posts in this thread have been, at times, incredibly insensitive and at times outright hateful in their tone.  I don't think "I'm gay, but..." justifies spouting homophobic rhetoric like a geyser.

I disagree. Dashenka has an opinion that differs from yours. She has stated at several points she disagrees with the law but believes in the right for countries to create their own internal politics. She has offered alternatives to moving the Olympics that, to her, are valid. You may disagree with her, but doing so by merely calling it  "spouting homophobic rhetoric like a geyser" instead of solid reasoning sounds like an attack on the person to defeat her arguments. Implying in the same vein that she might be suffering from Stockholm syndrome is another such tactic I disagree with. And I think Cyrano is aware his post can be read in that fashion, considering the edit.

Note that I have not voiced right or wrong, I merely disagree with attacks on the person as part of a debate.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2013, 01:04:10 AM »
The thing is.. before Milk and folks like him stood up to be counted.. it WAS safer to stay in the closet and watch out for yourself. Mostly. There is some NASTY incidents, like one club fire/arson in New Orleans that I can recall where over a dozen folks died and NO ONE in the NOPD gave a damn.

Precisely. Hell, I still live in a city where gay-bashing was a sport for high-school kids at least as late as the early Nineties, and I remember being invited to participate in it. (I said "fuck off" at the time -- even as a kid I could see the analogies between homophobic violence and racial violence, a useful advantage of my leftie upbringing -- but I never did have the courage to ask anyone point-blank about what happened on the nights I wasn't there.) I get how "just stay low and don't disturb shit" could seem like the best possible advice.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #96 on: August 15, 2013, 01:10:03 AM »
She has stated at several points she disagrees with the law but believes in the right for countries to create their own internal politics.

If one were being strictly debate-club about this, it would be worth noting that Dashenka's opinions about "the right for countries to create their own internal politics" included strongly implying that gay victims may have deserved or might deserve discriminatory treatment by supposedly parading around in pink leather and feathers. That sort of thing itself pretty much qualifies as being to the person, rather than to the argument, and to be clear, I'm not in the least excusing "arguments" like that, which are genuinely fucked up and genuinely wrong. I'm just saying I can understand why they happen.

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #97 on: August 15, 2013, 01:17:18 AM »
According to the linked article about it, this law's definitions also restrict things like anal and oral sex (not related to procreation, after all).

So someone can be arrested for asking publicly about a blowjob?

No wonder they're so fucking cranky.

Offline Imogen

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #98 on: August 15, 2013, 01:25:56 AM »
If one were being strictly debate-club about this, it would be worth noting that Dashenka's opinions about "the right for countries to create their own internal politics" included strongly implying that gay victims may have deserved or might deserve discriminatory treatment by supposedly parading around in pink leather and feathers. That sort of thing itself pretty much qualifies as being to the person, rather than to the argument, and to be clear, I'm not in the least excusing "arguments" like that, which are genuinely fucked up and genuinely wrong. I'm just saying I can understand why they happen.

I suppose you are refering to this part:

Quote
In a way, I even symphatize with that law. I know I'm gay as well but I don't like these men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay and the fact they made a law about that, isn't all that strange. You can be gay, just not in public. Not only because of a law, but also because the majority of the people on the street feel offended by it.

What is wrong with her not liking men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay? It's an opinion on the 'act' of a particular group of gay people, not of being gay in itself.

I personally hate it when I'm on the street and another religious zealot shoves fliers in my face, blocks my path and demands to know if I believe in Jesus. Doesn't mean I hate religious people.

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #99 on: August 15, 2013, 01:31:31 AM »
I suppose you are refering to this part:

What is wrong with her not liking men in pink leather thighs acting all stupid and gay? It's an opinion on the 'act' of a particular group of gay people, not of being gay in itself.

I personally hate it when I'm on the street and another religious zealot shoves fliers in my face, blocks my path and demands to know if I believe in Jesus. Doesn't mean I hate religious people.

Personally I wish we could throw those people in jail.... *sighs*