Friday, August 9, 2013

Russia feeling the heat - Jacques Rogge and the IOC are clueless

Jacques Rogge
Today the AP reports that, according to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, the organization is waiting for more clarifications from the Russian government on the anti-gay law that is overshadowing preparations for the Winter Games in Sochi.

Mr. Rogge doesn't seem to comprehend the fact that, for several weeks now, different officials have made different statements about the law. Shortly after the IOC claimed that they had assurances "for the highest levels of government" that the law would not be enforced, it's primary sponsor in the legislature (possibly Putin by proxy) asserted that the law would be enforced to the fullest extent.
  1. Unless the law is repealed, Mr. Rogge should assume that it is in effect. Given that it passed the lower house (the Duma) unanimously, repeal seems unlikely.
  2. Russia must not only protect athletes and visitors from the Russian authorities, but they must accept responsibility for having unleashed right-wing violence against gay people. At this point, even repeal is unlikely to stop the skinheads and other miscreants.
  3. Fundamentally, this law is based on the odious falsehood that sexual orientation can be "promoted." It is an international disgrace.
The bottom line is that the IOC chose an extremely homophobic country to host the Olympics. Were a similar law passed denying equal rights to any other minority, that would not have been the case.
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