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Thread: Stephen Fry calls for Olympics ban over Russia's anti-gay laws

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Stephen Fry calls for Olympics ban over Russia's anti-gay laws

    Broadcaster Stephen Fry has urged David Cameron to support moves to strip Russia of the 2014 Winter Olympics because of its new anti-gay laws.
    In an open letter to the PM, the International Olympic Committee and London 2012's Lord Coe, he said Russia was "making scapegoats of gay people".
    The government said it was working closely with organisers to ensure the Games were free from discrimination.
    In Russia, it is illegal to give under-18s information about homosexuality.

    'Honest commitment'

    In Mr Fry's letter, which was published on his website, he compared the situation to the decision to hold the 1936 games in Nazi Germany.

    He urged International Olympics Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and his fellow committee members to "take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent".

    North American gay rights activists demonstrated outside the Russian consulate in New York in July

    "It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 is simply essential," he wrote.
    "Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs (Russian President Vladimir) Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world."
    He said the London 2012 Games "were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country" and a Russian Winter Olympics "would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory".

    Mr Fry made a direct appeal to the prime minister at the end of the letter. He says he has the "utmost respect" for Mr Cameron and urged him to act on his instinct.

    "As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our Parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side," he wrote.
    "For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now."
    A government spokeswoman said Mr Cameron outlined concerns about the growing restrictions on LGBT freedoms in Russia to President Putin at a meeting in Downing Street in June.
    "We are working closely with the IOC and the BOA (British Olympic Association) to ensure that the Games take place in the spirit of the Olympic Charter and are free from discrimination," she added.

    'No patience'
    In a statement, the IOC said it "respected Mr Fry's opinion" and the committee was clear that "sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation".
    "The IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games," a spokeswoman said.

    Anti-gay activists and gay rights campaigners both demonstrated outside the Russian parliament in June

    In June, Russia passed a law imposing heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18.
    The law has been criticised by Western politicians and human rights groups, and has raised concerns that visiting gay athletes and spectators could face discrimination or even legal action.
    Gay rights campaigners have launched a tentative campaign for a boycott of the Games, due to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in February.
    US President Barack Obama spoke out against the legislation on NBC's The Tonight Show, broadcast on Tuesday.
    "I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them," he said.
    It was in the best interests of Russia to "make sure the Olympics work", he added.
    "I think they understand that for most of the countries to participate in the Olympics, we wouldn't tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently," he said.
    Johnny Weir, the openly gay US figure skater, has told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he would not observe any boycott of the Games .
    "To attack Russia is silly. It's not Russia's public's fault that their government is so bigoted and creating so many problems for a minority group," he said.

    BBC News - Stephen Fry calls for Olympics ban over Russia's anti-gay laws
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    George Takei has been campaigning against this as well.

    Actor and LGBT activist George Takei weighed in on Russia’s harsh new anti-gay policies–and the news that those policies would be enforced on athletes and spectators at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

    “Given this position, the IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia,” wrote Takei on his blog.

    On The Last Word Wednesday, Takei told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that having the Olympics in Sochi would “besmirch the Olympics name as well as all the corporate [sponsors].”

    Takei joins a number of prominent figures who have spoken out against Russia’s draconian anti-gay laws, including actors Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Fry. In a recent piece for The New York Times, Fierstein said the Olympics Committee must “demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.” Fry wrote British Prime Minister David Cameron an open letter imploring, “At all costs, Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.”

    Takei echoes Fierstein and Fry, arguing against the view that moving the Olympics out of Russia would be a step too far.

    “Would this be their opinion if the law instead called for the arrest of any Jews, Roman Catholics or Muslims should they display any sign of their religion, such as a wearing a yarmulke or praying while facing Mecca?” Takei wrote. “Discrimination in any form is a blight upon the Winter Games, and it must not be tolerated.”

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a number of laws in recent weeks that target the LGBT community, including one that bans the adoption of Russian-born children by homosexuals. The law most relevant to the Winter Olympics is one which allows Russian authorities to detain tourists or foreign nationals who are gay or pro-gay for up to 14 days.

    “An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn’t banned from coming to Sochi,” Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko said in an interview last Thursday. “But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable.”

    On his blog, Takei promotes a petition which would move the 2014 Winter Olympics to Vancouver, where they were held in 2010, and where many facilities are still in operation. By Wednesday afternoon, 56,000 people had signed it.

    “This is a situation of good vs. evil. It is evil that is happening there, and we must not play into Putin’s game,” said Takei on The Last Word.

    George Takei petitions: ‘Move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia’
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  3. #3
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    George Takei is THE MAN.
    gas_chick and stella blue like this.

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Hell it ain't just Russian that needs banned.
    stella blue and Sarzy like this.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I do not support punishing the athletes.
    McJag likes this.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Its easy for a non athlete to say ban Olympics. For those athletes, gay and straight, they have worked non stop for years for this opportunity. Frankly I doubt the Russians even have room to detain all the gay & gay supporting people attending the games.
    Putin need a swify kick, but these athletes do not.
    southernbelle likes this.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Holding it at Sochi is a joke even without the anti-gay bullshit the Russkies are pulling. Talk about corruption, mismanagement, and security issues. Should have never given it to them.
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    Elite Member JazzyGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    Holding it at Sochi is a joke even without the anti-gay bullshit the Russkies are pulling. Talk about corruption, mismanagement, and security issues. Should have never given it to them.
    THIS is what I've been thinking. The security rather scares me.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    Holding it at Sochi is a joke even without the anti-gay bullshit the Russkies are pulling. Talk about corruption, mismanagement, and security issues. Should have never given it to them.
    I think that's the IOC's motto.
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    My daughter is friends with someone who will most likely compete for the US. Here is his response to this:


    Matthew xxxxxxxx
    I don't think we should boycott the Olympics. I just think during opening ceremonies the Americans should commit to being really, really FABULOUS. — feeling pride.
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  11. #11
    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    Holding it at Sochi is a joke even without the anti-gay bullshit the Russkies are pulling. Talk about corruption, mismanagement, and security issues. Should have never given it to them.
    No kidding. I read somewhere a while back that 30 Billion dollars was missing from their budget. Billion. That's like twice what the London Olympics cost altogether. Crazytown.

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