U.S. hypocrisy on display in calls to boycott the Sochi Olympics
Leading up to the Sochi Olympics, Russian president Vladimir Putin's treatment of gays and lesbians has been at the centre of a media firestorm.
In recent months, much of the criticism has focused on Russia's antigay law, which imposes administrative fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($160) on individuals and 50,000 rubles ($1,600) on officials for "propaganda of homosexualism among minors".
However in a recent Washington Post article, Yale law professors Ian Ayres and William Eskridge pointed out that eight American states also have what they call "no promo homo" provisions on their law books.
"Putin’s inability to justify this law puts a spotlight on the inability of Utah, Texas, Arizona and other states to justify their gay-stigmatizing statutes," they noted.
There have been calls in the U.S. to boycott the Sochi Games because of Russia's antigay legislation.
But Ayres and Eskridge highlighted that there were no demands for an Olympic boycott in Salt Lake City in 2002, even though Utah "prohibits the advocacy of homosexuality".
"Before the United States condemns the Russian statute’s infringement of free speech and academic freedom, it should recognize that our own republican forms of government have repeatedly given rise to analogous restrictions," Ayres and Eskridge stated.