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After All, The Olympics Always Been “A Little Gay”

The 2008, 2010 and 2012 Olympics were broadcasted to 220 countries, and the London 2012 Olympics brought in a global audience of 3.635 billion viewers. A projected 1.8 billion viewers saw at least one minute of Vancouver 2010 coverage on television (48% of the potential global audience).

With this kind of viewership, the Olympics are an honour to host and a massive endorsement to the host country. In theory, the Olympic Games should go to a country that upholds the standards and team spirit of Olympic tradition.

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games are currently taking place in Sochi, Russia.

I hope you are all as thoroughly disappointed as I am.

Why is Sochi so controversial you ask?

LGBT Rights in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal propaganda law in June that banned any form of propaganda encouraging non-traditional sexual relations. Homosexuals are also consistently treated with violence and the targets of anti-gay mobs as shown in the video below.

This video was posted by the Human Rights Watch and is a must-see for comprehending the violence occurring in Russia.

This Russian ‘anti-gay’ law is twisted to associate homosexuality with pedophilia, which brings the utter ignorance of this law to a whole new level. The vigilante group within the above video named themselves ‘Occupy Pedophilia’ and quotes from both Putin and Anatoly Pakhomov (mayor of Sochi) touch on this topic.

Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals were welcome at the Games – as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others”.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin said homosexuals would be welcome in Sochi for the Olympics but said, “just leave the children alone”.

“We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations,” he said. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia.”

Don’t impose their habits on others? Leave the children alone? These are so brutal I wish they were fictitious. 

The rest of the world, however, has something to say about this as well.

International Response

The most popular statement against Russian law has been a hit on Facebook, personally coming up on my newsfeed several times and it never ceases to delight me:  

The Olympics Have Always Been a Little Gay’ by Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion

Prague takes it to a whole new level with a lovely rendition of Vladimir Putin:

Many other protests have taken place around the world, begging corporations to make a public stand against Sochi to mostly no avail.

Response from The University of Ottawa

The SFUO and Community Life Service went head to head on campus when the SFUO voted against airing the Olympics at U of O and CSL continued to show the Olympics in the UCU. The SFUO stated their decision to boycott the Olympics was to show respect for LGBT students on campus while the CLS argued that students should have the opportunity to watch the Games and support Canadian athletes.

Despite the SFUO’s stance, the Olympics were still aired in the student run bar 1848.

Sochi 90U took place in the 90 University Residence the opening week of the Olympics. While students participated in the nightly Olympic events, they showed their support for LGBT rights by wearing bright colours and showcasing bold signs with statements such as:

“Taste the Rainbow”

“F**k Putin… gently.”

The students also wore smaller signs on their chests promoting equality and same sex marriage rights.

The Olympics will continue despite what is happening in Russia and what is happening in Russia will continue despite the honour of hosting the Olympics. We can support our athletes and we can support the LGBT community simultaneously.

Love will always be louder. 

Studying Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Ottawa. I am passionate about many things, particularly cats and the great outdoors.
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