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Good for him.

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
I completely support this plea to Boycott. Unequivocally.

Stephen Fry's Open Letter.
riverflowVastmindzenffmisterCopezombiegirlLincTheEccentrickarmablues

Comments

  • DandelionDandelion London Veteran
    Me too.
  • Bravo.
    Stephen Fry makes the world kinder, more considerate and brings to our attention issues we need to consider.

    . . . Talking of games . . . I saw some of the athletes mentioned here last year in London . . .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-23601533
  • JainarayanJainarayan Veteran
    edited August 2013
    On board with the boycott. I think the Russian Orthodox Church has a big part to play in this. Putin and the late Partiarch Alexy were buddy-buddy and I suspect it's no different with Patriarch Kirill. The ROC is certainly not without financial resources, the former USSR notwithstanding.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I say leave it up to the Olympians themselves as individuals.
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    I say leave it up to the Olympians themselves as individuals.
    @Vinlyn -- Perhaps I'm dense, but I can't figure out what you're saying. Let the athletes dictate Olympic policy? Let them choose to forgo competition if they feel solidarity with LGBT athletes ... or if they oppose Russia's abusive policies? What precisely should be left to the athletes as individuals?

    Sorry, I'm just not getting what you mean.
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian "correctively" raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
    Boycott the games.
    lobsterdhammachick
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    genkaku said:

    I say leave it up to the Olympians themselves as individuals.
    @Vinlyn -- Perhaps I'm dense, but I can't figure out what you're saying. Let the athletes dictate Olympic policy? Let them choose to forgo competition if they feel solidarity with LGBT athletes ... or if they oppose Russia's abusive policies? What precisely should be left to the athletes as individuals?

    Sorry, I'm just not getting what you mean.

    I'm sorry. Here' my view.

    Pick a country that the Olympics has been in. In many, if not most cases, one could come up with reasons to boycott those Olympics. For example -- Great Britain with the stain of global imperialism; China -- do I even need to explain?; Italy -- Mussolini's compliance with Hitler; the US -- the highest rate of imprisonment in any country, the history of slavery and destruction of the American Indian culture, the Vietnam War; Japan and WWII.

    The Olympics is supposed to not be about world politics. And what better example of the folly of Hitler's principles than when Jesse Owens won at the Olympics in Germany while Hitler was "watching"?

    Further, I've had 2 students who were potential Olympic athletes during years when there was talk about a ban. Many of these young athletes work for hours a day, sometimes practicing from 3-6 a.m. (for example at an ice rink for figure skating), and will have a one-time real shot of getting to the Olympics.

    There are other ways to make the same point.



    lobsterChrysalidkayte
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    I agree, and this will be really hard because I have a kid who loves to watch the winter games. But after my many discussions over the past couple years, I hope he will understand. He dropped out of Boy Scouts last year because of their policies on gay scouts and leaders by his own choice.
    I just cannot in good conscience participate by watching (and supporting sponsors) of an Olympics that in turn makes money for a country that works against something so important to me, and our family.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    I agree with Stephen. If the world continues to support the 2014 games in Sochi, it is equivalent to saying that they support his policies. And in case anyone is unaware, we aren't just talking about his policies governing Russians. The Law that Putin recently signed in allows them to arrest and detain any foreigners suspected for being gay or pro-gay. What does this mean for our athletes that live their lives as open homosexuals? Will they just be waiting for them at the airport, since there will be no doubt about their sexuality?

    Every time I hear about this, I just say a silent thank you to my great grandparents for leaving Russia...
    lobster
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    The case against boycotting from Greg Louganis and a couple of gay organizations:

    http://bruni.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/an-olympic-legend-on-boycotts-and-bigotry/?_r=0
  • vinlyn said:


    The Olympics is supposed to not be about world politics.

    No, they shouldn't. But what guarantee is there that Russian authorities will not enforce the law against gay athletes or spectators that happen to be exposed? How can we guarantee that a gay person will not be outed?

    This is not about a country's internal politics, it's about a slippery slope against a group of people for being, not doing, e.g. smuggling hash. At least in 1939 Jesse Owens wasn't banned from the Olympics, nor arrested for being black. Would it have been OK for China to ban or arrest black athletes because it had some particular racist law? Where does it end when laws are against a group of people?
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    federica said:

    I completely support this plea to Boycott. Unequivocally.

    Stephen Fry's Open Letter.

    Count me in Stephen...incidentally forum folk , I saw the man himself recently walking along Shaftesbury Avenue in London wearing a battered green cardigan and energetically conducting something he was listening to through headphones. :)
    He is one of our National Treasures...
    lobsterToshdhammachick
  • The case against boycotting from Greg Louganis and a couple of gay organizations:
    Read that. Thanks for posting. Not convinced. Support for Stephen remains. Athletes are ambassadors, their actions and voice is listened to. Speak out, best argument gets gold . . . :orange:
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    lobster said:

    The case against boycotting from Greg Louganis and a couple of gay organizations:
    Read that. Thanks for posting. Not convinced. Support for Stephen remains. Athletes are ambassadors, their actions and voice is listened to. Speak out, best argument gets gold . . . :orange:

    And there are many ways to speak out.

    lobster
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    Olympic Games should take place in a fixed environment. You wouldn’t have to create a new infra structure each time again.
    To avoid political or human rights issues from interfering with the organization; create an independent Olympic State; a Vatican of Sports; a territory completely dedicated to the Olympic Games.

    This idea just popped up with a burp after dinner.
    NirvanaMaryAnne
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    zenff said:

    Olympic Games should take place in a fixed environment. You wouldn’t have to create a new infra structure each time again.
    To avoid political or human rights issues from interfering with the organization; create an independent Olympic State; a Vatican of Sports; a territory completely dedicated to the Olympic Games.

    This idea just popped up with a burp after dinner.

    An original and good idea...that will never happen.

    zenff
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    zenff said:

    Olympic Games should take place in a fixed environment. You wouldn’t have to create a new infra structure each time again.
    To avoid political or human rights issues from interfering with the organization; create an independent Olympic State; a Vatican of Sports; a territory completely dedicated to the Olympic Games.

    This idea just popped up with a burp after dinner.

    How about in Greece ? Around Mount Olympus ? They could do with the boost to their economy.
    zenffNirvana
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    Thanks @Vinlyn. Now I can appreciate the argument.
    lobster
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    genkaku said:

    Thanks @Vinlyn. Now I can appreciate the argument.


    ;)
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    zenff said:

    I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian "correctively" raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
    Boycott the games.

    This.

    As a Jew who's mother's family lost their lives to Hitler as well - I too get incredibly depressed to see this happening all over again, but to more and more people this time. As a "straighty" I will never understand the horredous experience our LGBT brothers and sisters experience. From what my gay cousin tells me though, it reaffirms my strong believe that NO ONE ever deserves that treatment. I too fully support the boycott.

    In metta,
    Raven

    lobster
  • Will Russis ban gay athletes from other countries from competing? If it does, then a boycott is in order to send a clear message.
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    federica said:

    I completely support this plea to Boycott. Unequivocally.

    Stephen Fry's Open Letter.

    If Cameron has a heart he will listen to this.
  • If the games aren't boycotted hopefully there will be some who will be able to make their opposition known in a non-violent manner, and maybe even some gold medals will be won too.
    vinlynriverflow
  • Silouan said:

    If the games aren't boycotted hopefully there will be some who will be able to make their opposition known in a non-violent manner, and maybe even some gold medals will be won too.

    ... ala Jesse Owens. Good point.
    Silouan
  • I can sympathise with people boycotting because of this issue, people should do what they feel is morally correct.
    But I also recognise that vinlyn has a valid point about the hypocrisy of boycotting these games because of Russia's homophobia, but not China because of their human right infringements.
    vinlyn
  • Although I understand why people would want to boycott, I don't think that it is the right way forward. It would be better to go to Russia and stand up and be counted for LGBT Russians. Show solidarity with them by physically standing shoulder to shoulder. The Games can be statement of equality.

    You cannot persuade people to change by not engaging with them. Putin would be very uncomfortable knowing that the athletes and people attending the Olympics had the LGBT issue on their agenda. It would also help to show that they are just like everyone else in the world.
    riverflowvinlyn
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    Sadly it seems the world will back whoever puts on the best show.

    I did say the same thing about China and I was told not to take things so serious. Then we all found out about the tainted milk and the child singer deemed too ugly to be credited for her voice.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    Lincoln said:

    I'd settle for television networks playing up the gay athlete stories and making sure every single viewer knows the bullshit going down in Russia.

    I think there would be a better chance of hell freezing over during this timeframe.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    You assume every viewer disagrees. While I don't think most Americans would go the route Russia has, it's still a very divisive issue even though we are making progress on equality for gay people here in the US. Our state passed gay marriage via our legislators, many of them at great risk of losing their jobs come the next election because they voted against the wishes of their constituents. Our state is still split almost 50/50 on the issue and there are plenty of that 50% who would not stand up to what Russia is doing.

    Also, it's not terribly realistic to go to Russia and stand with in support. How many people can afford just to up and go to Russia? I sure can't. So I can only support from afar.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    I too would rather see individual athletes or coverage maybe show some sign of solidarity with LGBT instead of an outright boycott.

    I don't think there would be any risk to the athletes for breaking Russia's laws in this regard as any police response from the government would almost certainly cause an international incident.
    vinlynriverflow
  • The theory is that the Olympics are above politics. The reality is, sadly, not the case. The LGBT community faces real struggles right here in the USA, legal arguments to the contrary. There have been boycotts of the Olympic games before, to the detriment of the athletes, and they failed to accomplish anything of value.
    Lincoln, Karasti, Person, I think you are close to the mark. Of course there is simply no pat answer. However, we can show solidarity with the LGBT athletes and community each in our own way.

    Do remember, bluster and grandstanding aside, that the Russian establishment wants to come out of the games without a major incident and looking good. If they allow athletes or fans to be attacked, that would be a major embarrassment and severe headache for the political elite of Russia.

    My prayers are and will be for the safety of all the participants in the Olympics: The athletes and coaches and their families, support crews and the non-athlete participants and fans.

    We must not forget that everyone's life is sacred - our friends, yes, but our "enemies" as well. Though it is not easy, we must nevertheless strive to think, speak and act accordingly.
    vinlyn
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    karasti said:

    You assume every viewer disagrees. While I don't think most Americans would go the route Russia has, it's still a very divisive issue even though we are making progress on equality for gay people here in the US. Our state passed gay marriage via our legislators, many of them at great risk of losing their jobs come the next election because they voted against the wishes of their constituents. Our state is still split almost 50/50 on the issue and there are plenty of that 50% who would not stand up to what Russia is doing.

    Exactly. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've heard (in the US, mind you), "I don't care what gays do behind closed doors, I just don't understand why they have to shove it in my face." This is the basic mentality that led to Russia's current laws, that just EXISTING as a gay person and doing the normal things that couples do (holding hands, etc) are somehow indecent and dangerous to children. The Russian laws are supposed to be for being an open homosexual "in front of children" but they aren't really playing out that way. Give 'em an inch...
  • howhow Veteran

    Much of the Olympics already advocates multiple forms of greed, hate & delusion to the point that I have not supported it with any of my time or controllable resources for many years.
    I hope that those who still do support the Olympics, find the hosting country's actions distasteful enough to boycotts these particular games but also wish that folks examine the managerial actions of the Olympic board to see if that is what they really wish to support as well.
    karasti
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    edited August 2013
    Citta said:

    zenff said:

    Olympic Games should take place in a fixed environment. You wouldn’t have to create a new infra structure each time again.
    To avoid political or human rights issues from interfering with the organization; create an independent Olympic State; a Vatican of Sports; a territory completely dedicated to the Olympic Games.

    This idea just popped up with a burp after dinner.

    How about in Greece ? Around Mount Olympus ? They could do with the boost to their economy.
    Wouldn't it need to be it's own sovereign nation? I think the worst problem is that Olympia is also the name of a really crappy beer.
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    Zeus is the reason for the season.

    Put Zeus back in the Olympics.
    riverflowkarastiVastmind
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    This article says the IOC will ask for clarification before they take a stance. Russia says athletes will be allowed to compete and take part in everything, at least until they do or say something that might be construed as gay and might be seen by children (assume this means on tv, too?). That's a pretty vague description. They could stretch that as far as 2 men or women hugging after a race as promoting homosexuality (whether they are gay or not).
    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130812/182723811/Russia-Confirms-Anti-Gay-Law-Will-Be-Enforced-at-Olympics.html
  • Them Ruskies better be man up! WHOOAH!!


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