Today’s news report that the Mayor of Sochi said “we don’t have gays in this town” follows President Putin’s request to “leave the children alone”, thus spreading two of the biggest lies about homosexuality and showing how deep and violent the repression has now gone in official Russia.
The Mayor of Sochi is following similar ramblings by President Ahmadinejad at Columbia University when he was practically jeered off the stage. Rightly so. Putin’s comment is equally sinister, spreading the vicious lie that gay sexuality is really about seducing under aged children.
These are both terrible lies, and it is important they be exposed for what they really are. LGBT communities are everywhere in the world, in every workplace, in every walk of life. To assert otherwise is not simply obtuse, it is a voice of repression and denial.
President Putin’s comment is no less disgusting, because it asserts another Big Lie, that gay sex is predatory sex. This has been spread around in public debate for centuries, and has its followers in Canada. But it has to be exposed for what it is: a justification of hate and repression that is truly destructive.
If we use the Sochi games to expose the extent of this campaign of hate by Russian authorities, ok, but any kind of silence just condones this truly evil rhetoric. And the hopeless complacency of the IOC has to be condemned for what it is. But then again, this is the organization that held the Olympics in Berlin in 1936.