insidethegames.biz / Time for Commonwealth to stand up to homophobic members if Glasgow 2014 to mean anything
If the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games mean sending gay and lesbian athletes into the lion’s den of homophobia, the Commonwealth Games are about inviting the homophobic lion’s over for a spot of tea.
Nick Butler’s excellent article in insidethegames noted the adoption of a new particularly homophobic law in Commonwealth member Uganda.
At the recent Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka, the subject of the prevalence of homophobia in Commonwealth states and the rise of anti-gay laws in many was carefully eluded by Britain and other progressive members of the Commonwealth. (more…)
COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD Interview (1:46) by James O’Malley & Liz Lutgendorff (ft Chris Hadfield)
Suing the FBI (31:26) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Ryan Shapiro)
Scientific Publishing (55:13) by Andrew Holding
Sochi Pride Houses (59:02) by Marc Naimark
Boo Christmas (67:38) by Chris Chapman
Yay Christmas (74:02) by Charlotte Hooson-Sykes
Outsports / LGBTs aren’t asking for special treatment in Sochi: they’re asking that the Olympic Charter be enforced
I agree with Cyd Zeigler on many issues and admire his contributions as a journalist and an activist to LGBT sport and the goal of equality. But I don’t agree with the essay he just posted on Outsports.com on the role of athletes competing in the Sochi Olympics following reactions to the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines to National Olympic Committees, reminding athletes of the prohibitions of “Rule 50” with regard to “political” speech.
Zeigler says (in short) that LGBT activists are asking for special treatment in allowing for “political” speech in opposition to Russian antigay laws, and that we should suck it up, let the athletes get on with their sport, and continue to work for equality in other venues.
It’s a contrarian point of view for an LGBT-oriented publication, and takes some courage, but it’s based on what seem to me to be straw man arguments: that calls for sport for all are somehow “political”, that the IOC is only responsible for the Olympics, and that LGBT advocates are calling for “special treatment”.
Cyd is correct that the calls for boycotting or moving the 2014 Winter Olympics were not going to work. Even if they were effective, they would have backfired with the Games going on nonetheless, but with some athletes excluded due to the actions of the “gay lobby”. These calls often came from well-intentioned but not always well-informed voices. Some still maintain that calling for a boycott brought attention to the issue of antigay laws in Russia. Perhaps, but wouldn’t a united call for action that could actually get results have been better? There are many proposed actions other than boycotts, including those of Pride House International: an IOC-hosted Pride House in Sochi, and the Same-Sex Hand-Holding Initiative. These were, and are, achievable goals. (more…)