U.S. hypocrisy on display in calls to boycott the Sochi Olympics

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      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.



      Sorry Charlie

      Feb 3, 2014 at 12:12pm

      Were any members of the LGBQT community arrested in Salt Lake City?


      Feb 3, 2014 at 6:03pm

      When I see any actual evidence the Russian government is going after gays, as opposed to U.S. run "opposition"groups using it as a wedge issue, I will be concerned. All I have seen so far is random attacks by the same element that exists anywhere.


      Feb 4, 2014 at 3:14pm

      It's not hard to find evidence, morgus3.

      I just Googled "LGBT" and "Russia" and "Amnesty International" and am seeing reports on arrests of activists, physical assaults, frequent detentions. Trying Human Rights Watch now...gimme a sec...ok, shows homophobic violence, video of anti-gay attacks, gay attacks on the rise, Russian authorities failing to address violence...

      I dunno if it is that random really, if Russia makes this law and then attacks are on the rise. It's true that there are people who are not down with the gay folk everywhere, but here in Canada, the cops are trained to be aware of, sensitive to, and protective of people who report assault.


      Feb 4, 2014 at 8:53pm

      This is going way too far. Putin has gone overboard. Gay men being humiliated in Russia is on the internet. They are horrible. And now i've heard that the governement is killing wild dogs? Pathetic. Don't they respect goddamn human lives? DON'T THEY EVEN CARE ABOUT THE TONS OF SANE HUMAN BEINGS OUT THERE WHO WATCH THIS?! The corruption and the discrimination disgust me. I am rather a peace making person but.... I raise my hands in frustration and horror.

      Therefore, I am going to and will boycott the Sochi Olympics with all my will. That is all. Do something, the governements out there. Stop this madness.


      Feb 4, 2014 at 11:08pm

      Why Kain? I mean, if you don't like watching sports, thas cool, but the athletes are there and this is their thing. It's actually *good* that the Olympics are on to draw worldwide attention to this public relations fiasco of Putin's, which does throw light on our own "democratic" countries as well - e.g. this very article. The athletes themselves do not need to be rejected.

      You all seem confused.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 9:42am

      Why is this an issue? EVERYBODY world wide is having basic rights taken away en mass yet one group thinks it's above everybody else. Sorry to break it you all but there is a massive pr campaign going on in the west to make everybody else in the world seem bad wilst our so called governments run wild with a blank cheque and bombs.

      Stick together people and stop driving a wedge between us for rights we all should have. Teamwork.


      Feb 6, 2014 at 10:30pm

      Stupid article...Americans aren't arrested for being gay.