Sunday, July 28, 2013


Russian President Vladimir Putin turns out not to be a nice guy after all. In 2001, at their first meeting, then US President George W. Bush said "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul." I can only imagine what Mr. Putin thought about Mr. Bush; perhaps something like "I looked into his eyes and, holy Kremlin, what naiveté!!" 

Mr. Putin enjoys power, and in order to keep it he persecutes everyone and anyone he deems to be a threat. Under Mr. Putin, the new Russia seems to be more and more like the old Soviet. 

And so it is that President Putin has signed into Russian law some very severe anti-homosexual measures. These laws persecute gay people and supporters of gay people. One recent law signed by Mr. Putin bans the adoption of any Russian child by same sex couples, or even anyone who lives in a country that has marriage equality! Most recently, Putin signed a law that allows the police to arrest tourists and foreigners suspected of being gay or pro-gay, and hold them for 14 days. And yet another law defines "homosexual propaganda" as pornography, and can lead to detention and fines for people who advocate tolerance or educate children about homosexual issues. 

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Russia this coming February. Although the Charter of the International Olympic Committee has anti-discrimination language, the Olympic Committee appears to be strangely silent on this issue.  One can only wonder about the potential danger LGBT athletes, fans, and visitors who are openly supportive of equal rights might find themselves in. We can only hope that Mr. Putin understands the concept of "the whole world is watching." 

I openly support the rights of LGBT persons. The anti-gay Russian laws, supported and signed by Mr. Putin, are evil. If I were to gaze searchingly into Mr. Putins eyes (and not get arrested on suspicion of being gay), I would likely find a deep, dark pool of evil. 

I plan to write to the Olympic Committee on this issue.  

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