The now looming Sochi Winter Olympics have featured on Lustralboy for months as a potential vehicle for protest about gay rights, not only under the currently repressive regime in Russia, but also globally. Events in the first few weeks of 2014, outbreaks of homophobia in Nigeria, Rome and the UK, as well as the ongoing crisis in Russia, simply confirm how important an opportunity for protest these Sochi games are. We'll now take you on the tour of recent developments.
Russia. Putin equates gays and paedophiles. Again.
Vladimir Putin, already labelled one of our "Villains of 2013" has managed to reveal his true opinions, even while trying to calm fears of further gay repression ahead of the Sochi Olympics.
Interviewed by the BBC's Andrew Marr, he said: “I myself know some people who are gay; we’re on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way.” He, however, addded, “We have recently passed a law prohibiting propaganda, and not of homosexuality only, but of homosexuality and child abuse, child sexual abuse."
Putin then claimed that legalising paedophilia had been considered in several countries in relation to their acceptance of gay rights. He just can't help bundling up the two issues. “We aren’t rounding up anyone, we have no criminal punishment for such relations unlike many other countries,” he said. “One can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave the children in peace.” Clearly, no further comment is needed.
Is it any wonder that Russian gays feel so repressed and isolated?
Voronezh, Russia. A Russian gay protester has been detained for revealing a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay.
Pavel Lebedev, of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, waved the rainbow flag as the Olympic torch passed through his hometown. Photos uploaded by his friends show Lebedev pulling out the flag and being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow before the police arrived.
Queer Nation NY have mixed video footage of the event and images of LGBT demonstrators being abused in Russia with Coke’s 1970s jingle “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”. Coke recently defended the police detention of Lebedev. Not a smart defence, Coke!
Bauchi, Nigeria: Protesters throw stones into court urging executions of gay men.
Nigerian security personnel fired guns into the air last week to disperse thousands of protesters rioting at a court and urging the conviction and execution of eleven men arrested for belonging to gay organisations. The demonstrators threw rocks at the Sharia court in Bauchi city. After dispersing the crowd, the prisoners were returned safely to the prison, and Judge El-Yakubu Aliyu closed the court following the disruptions.
Nigeria has faced worldwide condemnation after the country’s President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a draconian anti-gay bill. Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be jailed for up to 14 years. The law also bans people who register, operate or participate in gay clubs, societies or organisations, or who publicly show that they are in a same-sex relationship.
Rome. Mario Pescante, IOC heavyweight, accused the U.S. of playing politics in sending openly gay delegates to the Sochi Games.
The International Olympic Committe executive said in Milan, "It's absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established). The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily."
His view sadly relects that of the the IOC who have been consistent in their supine posture on the Russian issue.
Rome. A Swiss Guard recalls gay sexual exploits in the Vatican.
Meanwhile, the so-called "Gay lobby" in the Vatican, apparently pivotal in Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign last year, have had their behaviour exposed by a Swiss Guard.
A former commandant confirmed reports that a member of the guard had been the subject of the sexual advances. Elmar Maeder, who was in charge of the Swiss Guards between 2002 and 2008 said, “I know from personal experience that the gay lobby exists,” He aded that gay people within the Vatican were part of a “secret society”.
The original complainant claimed that he was regularly asked for sex by a 'gay lobby' of high-ranking clergy in the Vatican. Cardinals, bishops, priests and other officials in the Vatican had regularly attempted to engage the unnamed man, who was responsible for the Pope's security, in illicit rendezvous. The former guard said he received up to 20 'unambiguous requests' from members of the clergy and was asked for sex by a dignitary close to Pope John Paul II. In another incident a priest's invitation to dinner was accompanied by a promise that the guard would later be served up for dessert.
What is it about Rome? So much hysteria, so little acknowledgment of what really goes on!
Henley-on-Thames, UK. A crazed British polician, blames the floods on David Cameron's gay marriage laws.
David Silvester, who, defected to UKIP from the Conservatives in 2012 in opposition to same-sex marriage, has declared,”The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war. I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same sex marriage Bill. But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so."
“Now, even as Cameron sheds crocodile tears on behalf of destitute flooded homeowners, playing at advocate against the very local councils he has made cash-strapped, it is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods."
Unlovely Lively Noah's Ark;
It's all scarily like the madness of American evangelist, the unlovely Scott Lively, another of our "Villains of 2013", who attributed the need for Noah's Ark on gay composers of wedding songs.
Lustralboy says: Yes, we see madness in the eyes of these homophobes, madness that deserves to be brought to global attention, there to defeat it in the interest of equality and tolerance. Sochi here we come. Let the games begin and here's hoping they offer a stage for the great gay cause.
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