“Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has been mostly silent,” wrote Harvey Fierstein, in his op-ed piece in the July 21 edition of the NY Times.
The war has been going on for sometime and gets more ugly each week. There is a law banning the adoption of Russian born children to gay couples and — get this — any couple living in a country where marriage equality exists in any form. The police in Russia are allowed to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, or “pro gay.”
Earlier in June, Putin signed a bill that classifies “homosexual propaganda” (whatever the hell that is) as pornography. The stupidity and narrow-mindedness of that law, makes it a prosecutable offense for anyone describing homosexuality as not evil. Anyone – parents, teachers, judges, etc.
The discrimination has become an issue for the 2014 Winter Games in Russia as to whether gay athletes will be safe there. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has provided some lame reassurances, but if history is any indicator, there is reason for concern.
Speaking of history, in the early 1980s at the height of the cold war, two events roused the public anger against Russia and the then Soviet Union. One was the shooting down of the Korean Air Line passenger plane and the other was the boycott of the US Olympics in Los Angeles.
The response by consumers in the US was to boycott Russian products. Since Russia’s main exports were (and still are) caviar and vodka, it was not surprising to see news photos of bartenders pouring Stoli down sewers. Other than increase the awareness …