Hurdles at the Winter Olympics? Only for gays at Sochi! While Russian leader Vladimir Putin has rolled out the welcome mat to the World, he has decreed that there is to be no ‘propaganda’ referring to the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transsexual community at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
With a vicious civil war raging only kilometers from Sochi, and a renewed threat of terrorist actions targeting the Olympic Village, Putin has dedicated time and energy to censoring any positive information on the LGBT lifestyle. The suggestions is that, positive information on GLBTs would be ‘propaganda’ promoting said lifestyle, and further suggesting that gays are more likely to abuse children.
Insisting that he is ‘friendly with gays,’ and citing a ‘love for Elton John’ amongst the Russian people, Putin is working hard to allay fears being publicized by the GLBT community, of their growing concern for their safety while at the Sochi Olympics.
This repression of LGBT expression has grown into an international movement to boycott the Games, and even our own Vancouver City Council has entered into the fray, with one council member –Tim Stevenson – traveling to the Sochi Games to promote a Pride house.
Contrast the Games of Sochi with the hugely successful Vancouver Winter Olympic Games of 2010, and the differences are staggering.
While the 5 interlocking rings of the Olympic flag really did stand for inclusion of all peoples from all nations at the Vancouver Games, Putin’s public stance on what he calls ‘gay propaganda,’ the fact that many athletes will not allow their families to travel to Sochi to watch the Games for safety concerns, and for the very real threat of terrorist attacks in the Sochi Olympic Village, one can only cross ones’ fingers for a safe and successful Winter Olympics in 2014.
As for gays at Sochi, one can only hope that this repressive regime of Vladimir Putin can perhaps learn a thing or two about getting along, with the peaceful inclusion of the GLBT community, who will be represented by both athletes and fans at the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014.