So, President Vladimir Putin of Russia is trying assure LGBT athletes and spectators that they will be “comfortable” during the Winter Olympics in Sochi this winter.
Putin appeared on Russian television Monday alongside the newly elected president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, in an effort to quiet fears that the nation’s ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” would threaten the safety of out athletes and spectators who travel to Sochi for the games, which begin in February.
“We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans, and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation,” Putin said at a meeting of Russian winter sports ministers, according to Radio Free Europe. “On my own and on [behalf of Russian sports ministers], I have assured Mr. [Bach] that we will do our best, and our athletes and fans will do their best too, so that both participants and guests feel themselves comfortable at Sochi Olympics regardless of their ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. I would like to underline that.”
Hmm . . . I wonder if that message will get to the Russian people, especially the bigots who have been picking on LGBT people since Putin signed into law the anti-LGBT “propaganda” law last summer, which restricts the rights of LGBT people.
As Advocate.com points out:
Since Putin signed the draconian policy into law this summer, LGBT Russians and visitors have been beaten, harassed, and arrested for attempting to peacefully assemble, carrying pro-LGBT signs, waving rainbow flags, or sometimes simply for walking down the street. A 22-year-old transgender woman in Russia committed suicide shortly after she was kicked out of her home and fired from her municipal job because her employers feared running afoul of the propaganda ban.
Personally, I don’t put a lot of stock in Mr. Putin’s assurances — perhaps he and his officials will ease up on LGBT people while the world is watching during the Games, but I’m so sure about the bigots and other minions of hate.
And how could anyone feel comfortable in a country where the government treats LGBT people with such contempt?
Just sayin . . .