Saturday, February 22, 2014

When the Games End

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are coming to an end tomorrow. I am proud to say that I have been able to avoid it almost completely, the exception being listening to my co-workers discussions at lunches.

The reason for my personal boycott of these games are the state sanctioned heinous treatment of the LGBT community in Russia and the homophobic so called "Gay Propaganda" laws that the country has adopted with the full support of President Vladimir "Little Father" Putin.
"Stop the Hate" Photography by Tomais Ashdene
The eyes of the world have been focused on Russia during the months leading up to and during the games, which may very well have put a lid on some of the violence and outrages that would otherwise have occurred. Once the games have ended things may very well change to the worse. I am extremely worried for my LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia and for what may come in the near future.

Russia has a sad tradition of state sanctioned persecution against marginalized groups throughout it's history with pogroms, bullying and violence against Jews, Cossacks, Chechens to mention a few. Now the LGBT community is being used in the same way, to deflect anger and unrest in the population from rising against the regime and instead supplying the malcontents with an easy scapegoat to persecute without legal sanctions.

Of course I am aware that Russia is by no means the worst of the countries that are persecuting it's LGBT citizens, but I (wrongly) had higher expectations of Russia than for Uganda, Saudi Arabia and some other nations.

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