An Olympics security officer tackled and detained a young man who held up a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay in Voronezh, Russia. The security officer was wearing the standard uniform: one emblazoned with a Coca-Cola logo on the pants and chest. Nobody displays the Coca-Cola logo (or the logo of any Olympic sponsor) without Coke’s explicit permission; and it's not like Coke didn't know.

Corporate sponsors have a lot to lose as their global Olympic ads roll out. Please sign the petition to make them finally speak out against Russia's ugly, religiously motivated anti-gay laws.

Tags: LGBT, Olympics, Russia, Sochi, gay, rights

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Homophobia is sometimes too much for me to handle...I can't face it on every battlefront. I don't have the reserves. Waahh. I know, this is sounding like a first world problems rant. But damn, I can only take so much from my family and community in addition to worrying about which homoeroticly-Manly-Man Dictator is currently scapegoating us. Yeah, Putin, I think you might at least be a closeted bisexual or repressed gay man at most.

For people who don't have the choice to turn off the news and retreat into a gay happy place, I'll sign the petition. I'm not watching the Olympics because Putin's Russia is too fucked up...and I've reached my monthly limit for exposure to hatred. 

For people who don't have the choice to turn off the news and retreat into a gay happy place, I'll sign the petition.

As I write this, the petition has been signed 66,495 times, one of which was yours. For most of us, the only form of activism we can really do involves getting behind other organized activists. We sign petitions, drop a dollar in a virtual tip jar, send form letters to senators and CEOs, boycott or patronize businesses, or just ensure conversations like this one are taking place. 

Does it help? Will it change anything this time around? I doubt it. Will it change anything for the next Olympics, or the one after that, or the one after that? Victories like the DOMA ruling are what keep me saying: maybe. That's why I think it's worth doing.

 The momentum of money.

That's really what's so disturbing about this: money talks. The International Olympic Committee has an extremely clear and rather high set of standards regarding discrimination, as codified in the Olympic Charter:

  1. "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." (pp. 12)
  2. "The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the
    Olympic Movement. The IOC’s role is: #6 to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement." (pp. 16)
  3. "The IOC admits its new members at a ceremony during which they agree to fulfil their obligations by taking the following oath: 'Granted the honour of becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee, and declaring myself aware of my responsibilities in such capacity, I undertake to serve the Olympic Movement to the very best of my ability; to respect and ensure the respect of all the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the decisions of the International Olympic Committee, which I consider as not subject to appeal on my part; to comply with the Code of Ethics; to keep myself free from any political or commercial influence and from any racial or religious consideration; to fight against all other forms of discrimination; and to promote in all circumstances the interests of the International Olympic Committee and those of the Olympic Movement.'" (pp. 32-33.)

Nevertheless, the International Olympic Committee spent most of 2013 pretending it has no grounds to challenge Russia's imposition of a 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Olympics, thanks to Russian laws that require arrest, imprisonment, fines, or deportation for anyone displaying pro-gay speech or behavior, such as mentioning a same-sex spouse, holding hands, mentioning such views online, or wearing a rainbow flag button.

Just ask IOC Chairman Jean-Claude Killy, who sat at a table festooned with bottles of Coke, and made the Orwellian proclamation that “as long as the Olympic Charter is respected [in Russia] we are satisfied, and that is the case.”  Okay all you gays! The IOC has given this long and careful thought. Just keep your fucking mouths shut and nobody gets hurt. What's more respectful than that?

No, the IOC isn't going to do a damn thing that would interfere with a successful Olympic Games, or annoy the people who are paying for it, which are higher priorities than upholding the values and standards of the Olympic Charter. So they're squaring the circle and officially stating that Russia's discriminatory anti-gay laws aren't discriminatory, don't violate an oath to fight against "any form of discrimination", and that anti-LGBT discrimination isn't really discrimination at all.

Integrity. It's what makes the world go 'round.

Steven Fry was right.... these games should have been boycotted by every country that are opposed to homophobia but David Cameron was against that idea. Turning a blind eye like this was how Nazi Germany started. We have to remember that most Russians are good people, it’s only the their leaders that are backward thinkers

I have to admit that I'm going on the basis that I believe most humans are good people...even Russians. I don't know where the 74% of Russians believe that homosexuality should not be accepted comes from. Its a bogus figure or a manipulated figure by that goverment. It could even be the way the question was worded. I think the way forward would new political pressure and of course our support to any victims of government brutality. 

Why do people like Coke anyway? It's like drinking a carbonated, carmel flavored elixer of diabetes. I always burp like a drunkard half way into drinking it and then my teeth feel like they need a thorough brushing. God, this product is the best! It's as if drinking Coke is something we do out of a cultural habit.

Putin has launched a charm offensive ahead of the Sochi Games where he almost said "some of my best friends are gay". He then went on to say that he was not homophobic. However he has also done his part in trying to link homosexuality with paedophilia. So he is an ignorant bigot.

Watch out! He's got a rainbow flag! It's too fabulous!

really Russia? I thought you were first world these days...

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