A burbling controversy of Olympic proportions has found its way to Moscow via Lausanne. On one side the forces of evil are arrayed behind the stallion-riding Vladimir Putin and his "anti-gay" law (which sailed through the Duma in June). On the other are the forces of absolute equality, led by the bribe-swilling International Olympic Committee and its champion, Jacques Rogge (pronounced "rogue," according to Taki).
With the Winter Games approaching and bazillions of rubles already invested, Russia is now the target of a growing crowd of outraged protestors who cannot believe that, in this day and age, any law that "stigmatizes" the "gay community" could be tolerated. Appealing to the Olympic Charter, IOC chairman Rogge declared that "A sport is a human right and it should be available to all, regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation."
You'd think Putin had constructed a gas chamber on the edge of Olympik Village in Sochi, but the reality is much less shocking. Unlike the laws of 14 U.S. states, which were still on the books when the Supreme Court handed down Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, the new Russian law does not ban sodomy. It simply outlaws "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" around minors, where "nontraditional" means nonprocreative and "around minors" means, essentially, "in public." So no more Evgeniya Has Two Mommies or Sodomyfests in Moscow. Violators face fines and up to 15 days in jail.
Underscoring the absurdity of this "controversy" was its treatment on The Tonight Show With Jay "I Mean" Leno, when Leno interviewed LGBTQ activist Barack Obama.
Leno: "I’m surprised this is not a huge story—suddenly, homosexuality is against the law. I mean, this seems like Germany: Let’s round up the Jews, let’s round up the gays, let’s round up the blacks. I mean, it starts with that. You round up people who you don’t—I mean, why is not more of the world outraged at this?"
Obama: Well, I’ve been very clear that when it comes to universal rights, when it comes to people’s basic freedoms, that whether you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country. And I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.
Now, what’s happening in Russia is not unique. When I traveled to Africa, there were some countries that are doing a lot of good things for their people, who we’re working with and helping on development issues, but in some cases have persecuted gays and lesbians. And it makes for some uncomfortable press conferences sometimes. But one of the things that I think is very important for me to speak out on is making sure that people are treated fairly and justly, because that’s what we stand for. And I believe that that’s a precept that’s not unique to America, that’s something that should apply everywhere.
The President went on to say that, "if Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track, or in the swimming pool, or on the balance beam, and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it."
Now it's highly unlikely that Russian police will "round up the gays" at the Olympik Village and cart them off to the Gulag, let alone deport queers from foreign lands. And, so far as the Russian law is concerned anyway, the Olympians are free to sodomize one another to their hearts' content. What's at stake here is the international human right of shoving homosexuality down the throats of everyone who disagrees. For the World Left, homosexual behavior cannot be confined to the private sphere. It has to be on display in public. Notice the way CBS News describes one light-loafered speed skater (emphasis mine):
Openly gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup, who is hoping to represent New Zealand at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, said Wednesday that he is unwilling to play down his sexuality in light of Russia's anti-gay laws.
Skjellerup will do his part to protect the world from Nazi Russians by wearing a gay-pride pin. Time will tell whether the Opening Ceremonies are replaced by a Pride Parade led by Pussy Riot, Jacques Rogge, Barack Obama, and other defenders of the "basic morality that . . . should transcend every country."
Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (nta.fm), and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).