Let us stop looking at this as a gay issue. This is a human rights issue, and Russia is a human rights disaster, and on top of that, they are supporting a regime that we have evidence used chemical weapons to attack a civilian population.
Russia has come out in support of Syria in this escalating conflict. This is not surprising from a regime that is willing to arrest and jail people for protesting the destructive policies of their own government or for just being gay.
It is also not surprising given that the Russian authorities have done things like arrest people for uncovering corruption in the government and then letting them die in prison.
Russia has also allowed ultranationalist thugs to roam the streets beating up and even murdering anyone from any group they feel is an enemy of the state- be they Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Gays, or people who just look ‘funny’.
Think about it. These thugs are not respecting anyone. They are targeting anyone who is not an ethnic Rus. Forget the Nazi Olympics, does the International Olympic Committee really want to risk another Munich? Imagine those thugs decided to ‘fix’ the Olympics by offing a few choice athletes.
In Sochi, journalists and activists are being harassed and arrested for uncovering the fact that the Russians have been hiring immigrant labor to build the Olympic venues and then not paying them. In other words, Russia is skirting just this side of using slave labor to build the Olympic venues.
Those Olympic venues are being built on property that was largely seized without compensation. Many of the people who owned property there have been evicted and paid next to nothing for their property.
Maybe it’s time to stop giving the Olympics to ‘host nations’ and just ask Switzerland to host them permanently, but in the meantime, it really is time that the IOC stop listening to Russia’s claims that they will respect others and pull the Olympics out of Russia. In the end, this isn’t about politics, but about human rights, something that neither Russia nor the IOC seem to care about any more.