After it passed its draconian law against “Gay Propaganda” which seems to include outright advocacy of equal rights for GLBT people, and displays of support that could be in the form of cheering for, showing affection to and between same sex partners, wearing anything with a rainbow on it, holding hands, acknowledging that an athlete is Gay, speaking favorably about someone who is Gay, gathering in a group that could be considered a Gay gathering etc. it was made clear that this not only applied to athletes but to fans and family members as well.
The Russian government stressed that violations of the law could result in jail time of up to two weeks for any offender.
The International Olympic Committee seemed to support the Russian law by pointing out that if an athlete violated that law it could result in elimination of the athlete and loss of any won medal.
They did this by ignoring its own charter when it comes to discrimination, and by declaring that any displays of public affection or any signs of support for GLBT athletes in an open way was a form of political activity which is forbidden by its charter. Being an athletic organization, they had no problem performing mental gymnastics to conveniently re-interpret its own rules.
This whole mess did not sit well with quite a few people world wide, and not just the Gay people, and boycotts of the Olympics, their being moved to another venue, and refusing to purchase Russian products were promoted over the last few weeks.
The nay sayers claimed that any of these actions would be useless and that things should just be accepted and dealt with. After all, it wouldn't harm them.
In the typical action of the victimizer attempting to get pity as a victim, the head of the Sochi Olympics has asked the International Olympic Committee for help in getting the mean Gay people and their supporters to stop picking on the Russians.
Some American sponsors like MacDonald’s and Coca cola are beginning to feel a little discomfort having their names attached to the Sochi Olympics especially as parallels are being drawn with the 1936 Nazi Olympics.
They are beginning to realize that their logo on a jacket might not make them look all that good if that jacket is being worn by someone being dragged away to jail because they violated the law by kissing their spouse.
Because of the danger not only to gay athletes and their families and friends, especially those coming from countries where GLBT people have full equality and may have had it for many years, there is also a fear that the number of people attending the Olympics could be low.
Attendance means money, and money helps the local economy and the host country.
As the AP reported:
The head of the Sochi Olympics asked the IOC on Sunday to help “stop this campaign and this speculation” related to the anti-gay law that has been overshadowing preparations for next year’s Winter Games in Russia.
A senior IOC member has acknowledged that sponsors are “afraid” of the fallout of possible demonstrations in Sochi. “I think this could ruin a lot for all of us,” marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg said. “We have to be prepared".
Of course, the best preparation in the short term would be to have Russia suspend its law and its intention to apply it to anyone at the Olympics, and in the long term get them to repeal this law. And if the concern is that the negative image the Olympics is getting because of its not only tacit, but active supporting of Russia’s law, perhaps the IOC should be concerned about how the Olympic experience will be ruined for those athletes arrested or victimized by the vigilantes who have been empowered by the new law, as well as their parents, children, friends, siblings, and spouses who can also be victimized.
Instead of taking proactive steps to make the Olympics safer for all those involved, the IOC is asking the potential victims to be nicer to Russia.
They do not want anyone at the Olympics to make Russia feel bad. They would prefer the rape victim not force the rapist to have to work too hard.
Putin may find the idea of gay people to be an assault on Russian masculinity, if he only accepts that Gay people are the stereotypes and not the reality, but, come on, he runs around bare chested a lot, likes to be seen in his speedos, and hangs around with “bears”.