I am calling for the United States Olympic Committee -- http://www.teamusa.org -- to stand against the persecution of the GLBT people of Russia. Putin has outlawed any promotion of homosexuality in the arts, such as theater, print, TV, movies, etc. He has made it illegal for Russian children to be adopted by loving families in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. His next step is stated to be removing children from their same-sex families and homes—both adopted and biological children. Due to the government's hostility towards Russia's GLBT's population, violence is increasing at an alarming rate. Even if Russia says that no gay Olympian will be prosecuted, harmed, or detained, the fact remains that the same is not true for Russian citizens.
In truth, I feel so small that it seems impossible to help these men, women, and children in Russia. Maybe similar to how some Americans felt when they heard the beginning rumblings of Hilter’s anti-Semitic propaganda. What could they do, they were but one person? All the while Hitler’s discrimination grew and blossomed unchecked. I fear what is next for my fellow GLBT brothers and sisters in Russia, not that the brutality they face currently is not enough of a reason to act.
So what can we do? Maybe many things. One of them is to demand that our American Olympic committee, that is planning on taking part in next year's winter games in Russia, require Putin to stop his war on the GLBT population or commit to taking a stand in refusal to participate, fund, or support the upcoming Olympics. Putin may not listen to the cries of his own countrymen who he is persecuting, but he will have to heed the far-reaching social and financial ramifications of his hatred.
United States Olympic Committee
Scott Blackmun—CEO of United States Olympic Committee
You have an opportunity to affect the lives of countless men, women, and children. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has declared war on the GLBT people of his country. The discriminatory laws that he is putting in place are coming quickly and in great quantity. These laws range from making it illegal to educate about GLBT issues to making it impossible for GLBT families to adopt. It is now even illegal for loving families, that live in countries where gay marriage is legal, to adopt children from Russia. There is speculation that his next act is to remove children from same-sex Russian families—both adoptive and biological.
The time to act is now. Things are bad enough for GLBT people in Russia, and the massive quantities of children’s lives that are affected by these laws—children that will miss out on nurturing families due to these regulations. As Americans, we must take a stand for equality and demonstrate that such discriminatory and hate filled practices will not be tolerated.
One of the roles of the International Olympic Committee, according to the Olympic Charter, is to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries. By taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, we do the very opposite of this role. We are promoting discrimination, fear, hate, and prejudice in the host city and country. By our participation, we go so far as to give our approval of such actions, and, by default, give the green light to even more restrictive and detrimental laws.
I am calling for you, the United States Olympic Committee, to stand against the persecution of the GLBT people of Russia. I solicit you to demand that President Putin stop his war on the GLBT population or commit to taking a stand in refusal to participate, fund, or support the upcoming Olympics games. Anything else communicates your consent and approval of these atrocities, as well as the future actions this leader is taking upon the minorities of his country.
Take a brave stand—an honest, good, strong stand. In short, be American, be what America stands for, what is right and honorable. Let your actions show that victimizing, marginalizing, and criminalizing a group of people for no other reason than hate and fear will not be tolerated.