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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 6, 2013 - 7:57 am

A group of House Democrats and one Republican — former Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) — are imploring Secretary of State John Kerry to take measures to protect gay athletes and fans at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said the U.S. “must do everything we can to protect those Americans who are traveling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter” in the wake of recent laws passed in Russia.

Those include making it a crime to publicly support gay rights and to publicly acknowledge one’s sexual orientation, and foreign nationals can be arrested and detained under the laws for up to 15 days.

“Russia’s anti-LGBT laws defy basic human rights that should be guaranteed to everyone at all times and in all places,” said Nadler. “These laws are completely contrary to the uniting spirit of the Olympics, which brings diverse nations together in a spirit of peaceful and friendly competition.”

A total of 88 members signed on to the letter to Kerry, which was led by Nadler.

“We are particularly troubled because while the newly signed law is the most recent and most extreme codification of Russia’s maltreatment of its LGBT citizens, it is also part of larger trend of anti-LGBT actions in Russia,” they wrote. “…Hate crimes and violent attacks against the LGBT community have been reported, including the murders of two gay men earlier this year. In 2012, Moscow instituted a hundred-year ban on LGBT pride parades, a ban that was deemed illegal by the European Court of Human Rights, but which nevertheless resulted in the arrest and detention of seventeen LGBT activists for displaying rainbow flags. Russia’s record of anti-LGBT legislation and persecution pose serious concerns for the safety of LGBT Sochi Olympic participants and spectators.”

The International Olympic Committee pledged to “work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media,” but also acknowledged it can only do so much.

“In light of the importance of U.S. leadership on LGBT issues, and the quickly-approaching Sochi Games, we urge the State Department to determine the appropriate course of action to assure the safety and well being of LGBT and LGBT— supporting individuals involved in or attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics and Paralympics,” the members wrote. “We look forward to hearing from you regarding what efforts have been undertaken, especially efforts undertaken in coordination with other foreign governments, and are committed to working together with you on this issue.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Fornication was the BIG issue in England at their Olympic Games.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ignorance of these comments is baffling! Try doing some research on the real atrocities occurring to LGBT people in Russia. And yes, they do arrest and prosecute foreigners, so I don't see why athletes would be an exception. Are you seriously naive enough to think that gay athletes won't be harassed in Russia? The law states it's illegal to even DISCUSS homosexuality, whether it's being "promoted" or not. So just wearing a rainbow flag can get you arrested. Also, what if there was a law that made it illegal to be black and in public? Would that be a justifiable law that people should just obey? Seriously, educate yourselves on what's really going on to LGBT people over in Russia before you make ignorant claims.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reading things word-for-word the Russkies are stating that any visiting athlete or fan, gay or not, who tries to put on a public spectacle to "raise awareness" (think the black track medalists giving the Black Panther salute during the medal ceremony in Mexico City, 1968) is going to get a wood shampoo and tossed in the pokey for two weeks.

That's the long and the short of it. Militant LGBT types are so accustomed to being handled with kid gloves and getting away with murder. I hope they take the warning seriously. This ain't Kansas, Dorothy.

Are Putin's gay policies right? Hell no! Pooty is prostate-milking this non-issue and genuinely persecuting gays to set up and beat down a straw man to try and prove to flyover Russia how committed he is to traditional Motherland values to take people's minds off what a mess he's made of everything (a la "war against women" et al).

Don't expect John Francois Kerry to lift a finger or raise his voice. He knows Putin would love another opportunity to nose-thumb the administration. Gays, like every other sacred cow, are disposable to Obama when inconvenient. Just one more opportunity for the administration to be humiliated on the world stage.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Russians did NOT say that gays couldn't participate, they said that they wouldn't put up with openly advocating homosexuality. Big difference. If they want to go and participate by all means do so JUST DON'T TRY TO PUSH IT DOWN THE RUSSIANS' THROATS! If you can't restrain yourself for a couple of weeks then STAY HOME. the LBGT crowd does NOT have the Russian government treed like they do the idiots in our government.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or, the pampered jocks could do the same thing everyone else is expected to do -- obey the local laws. Don't like them? Don't think you can restrain yourself? DON'T GO.

50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
There should be an award for your ignorance...
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh please. The Russians are a lot of things, but they aren't stupid. No gay athletes are going to be arrested or harassed,
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
People have already been harassed, beaten, and murdered, what makes you think they'll do otherwise??
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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