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Obama: ‘If Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker’

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  1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 9 Aug 2013, 8:57pm

    Of course there are gay and lesbian athletes participating for Russia ! We all know that—Obama will you please ask ALL the American competitors going to OL to wear a rainbow badge to show their solidarity !

    1. PN is distorting what Obama said. Their lead line was a throwaway at the end to make him sound supportive. His lead quote was the following:

      I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics,” **

      His main reason is because those athletes have worked so hard to get there. In other words, the possible sponsorships of a handful of Americans is more important than the human rights of millions of Russias. The most pertinent quote from Obama, and left out of the PN story, was the following:

      “Nobody’s more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation than you’ve been seeing in Russia,” **

      What utter gall to claim that these laws are more offensive to Obama sitting comfortably in the White House surrounded by Secret Service agents than they are to lone, defenceless Russian gays being beaten in the streets.


    2. Ran out of space…

      Helge, the reason Obama won’t call for American competitors to wear rainbow flags is because he knows the IOC will disqualify any athlete who makes any pro-gay statement at the Olympics. His bottom line motivation is to preserve the cash flow to Coke, NBC and all of the other American companies who stand to profit from the Olympics.

      Anyone who thinks the IOC and USOC don’t have a homophobic past, need to be reminded of the case San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee. In 1987, a year after Bowers v. Hardwick, four US Supreme Court justices ruled that the USOC denied equal protection under the Fifth Amendment to the founders of the “Gay Games” on the basis of sexual orientation.

      1. Helge Vladimir Tiller 10 Aug 2013, 11:32am

        I fully agree with you, markSF ! Obama is of course focused on USA and trade- first of all. Then comes “the fight” against other super powers:Russia- China and so on. Political strategy and position. ( And the countrys image –) My remark (– WE ALL KNOW THAT–) mostly aimed at all the conscious gay and transgender people in Russia and elswhere in the world who know that gay and lesbian athletes are participating in almost all national teams. No nation will boycott this actual OL, due to the situation for LGBTQ persons in Russia.. And persons who wave a rainbow flag or have a badge will be left in peace by Russian police during this event ! ( The questions about these inhuman laws will be dealt with in quite other connections- )
        Best wishes to you, markSF !

  2. Sorry President Obama – this is not about whether Russia or other countries do or don’t have gay competitors in their teams.

    It’s about the fascist laws in Russia which persecute and criminalise gay Russians, simply for who they are?

    What is he going to do about that?

    This is not about gay athletes. It’s about fascist persecution of 10 million LGBT Russians.

    1. I believe he’s ultimatley trying to get accross the point that life is precious, LGBT people can achieve incredible heights if they are allowed to fly. By censoring, silencing, intimidating and cleansing such people from a society and reducing their mental health to dust ultimately harms everyone because homosexuals serve a purpose in a tribal and societal context, and can achieve incredible things in the fields of science, sport, technology, art, philosophy, psychology, empathy, compassion, problem solving and understanding etc.

  3. Paula Thomas 9 Aug 2013, 9:27pm

    I wander what he’d be saying if, say, the Olympics were being held in South Africa under apatheid. It is all too easy to belittle discrimination when you’re not the one under threat.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 9 Aug 2013, 9:41pm

    I see the troll Keith is back again.

  5. As an American, I’d be GLAD to donate Johnny Weir to them!

  6. You make about as much sense as that other one who went down to see how much further a person could go when there was more and more evidence of movement through the area under which many others had gone before the whole thing went KABOOM!

    1. My comment makes no sense now that the troll comment that I was responding to was removed!

      For those who missed it, it made no more sense than my gibberish above.

  7. “The president replied saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.””

    Hear, hear!

  8. Hi Keith …FO

    1. Oh! you just went Phoooph, gone.

  9. I think the valid point he was trying to illustrate is that if you denigrate and persecute gay and lesbian people and make their lives intolerable that gay person may just have been your next 100 metres or speed skater gold medal winner, which instead went to New Zealand.
    Just like Britain kicked its self in the head by persecuting Alan Turing in the 1950’s, you may be destroying a genius or a brilliant gymnast who will never reach their potential.

  10. The issue about gay athletes being able to compete in Russia is only part of the main issue, which is the severe persecution of LGBT Russians. I think their daily struggle in their homeland is deserving of being first priority. Athletes deserve to have their wishes catered for, but politicians like Obama should prioritise addressing the real issue.

    Putin wouldn’t dare risk having any USA athlete endangered. Any worries about them when participating at the Sochi Games should come second to concerns for LGBT Russians who are in danger every day.

  11. Oh Barack how I adore you <3

    1. Oh Barack how……

      I knew there would be one person that just had to say those words.

      He has done nothing for the gay cause in the USA its the states and the US Constitution that has the ball rolling for equal treatment of LGBT

    2. Save all your kisses for Obama until after we see what, if any, action he takes in relation to Russia. If he leads, as the most powerful leader on earth, the civilised world in taking measures to deal with Russia’s human rights violations, then he will deserve adoration.

  12. colin (London) 9 Aug 2013, 10:55pm

    move the olympics… please.

  13. I just had to smile when i saw a preview of the IAAF athletics championship starting Saturday – the background was a full view of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Oh! the irony.
    You can see it here
    in all its rainbow flag coloured glory! right down to the track.
    A truly gay stadium.

  14. Don’t think he’s seen any women Russian shotputters ! More balls than Stephen Fry ….

  15. “The president added though: “I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”

    Coward. That’s exactly what the world should do.

  16. Scott, Sydney 10 Aug 2013, 8:08am

    Now we have the President of the IOC making noises about safety. Only noises until the location is moved. By having these laws the Russians have gone back on assurances to the IOC they have made. The IOC should act. They know it thus the noises. If however it was black people or Israeli athletes I am sure the response would be very different.

    So progress has been made we are no longer invisible. Now we are just a public relations problem.

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