Russian president Vladimer Putin has declared war on homosexuals. Mr. Putin's recent laws allow police to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days.
New Russian legislation also bans “gay propaganda or support”-- far-ranging, vague, anti-gay legislation that will jeopardize the safety, welfare, and competitive edge of gay Olympians.
Harvey Fierstein writes in the New York Times that Putin's "condemnations are permission to commit violence against gays and lesbians. Last week a young gay man was murdered in the city of Volgograd. He was beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning."
The Olympic Committee must require the retraction of these laws immediately, otherwise the IOC must find another venue fast. Vancouver has been mentioned as ready to host again. If time is too short, then the Winter Olympics could be postponed to 2015. Think of the historical significance of postponing the Olympics by one year!
Olympians (gay or not) and their guests (gay or not) must not be unfairly burdened by Russian harassment and threat of arrest and imprisonment. The Winter Games MUST be removed from Sochi.
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