Features

Sochi Olympics: Why picking on gays has backfired so horribly for Vladimir Putin

This time, Russia's thuggish president has picked on the wrong minority

1 February 2014

9:00 AM

1 February 2014

9:00 AM

After all the fuss, the billions spent, the calls for boycotts and so on, the Sochi Winter Olympics will begin next week. Given the incredibly low expectations, the Russian Games may even be judged a success — as long as the weather stays cold and no terrorist attack takes place. But Vladimir Putin should not be too smug, because his broader campaign against homosexuality has backfired spectacularly.

The Russian President’s decision to sign a law prohibiting ‘the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors’ last summer probably made sense to him at the time. This measure, along with one that bans the adoption of Russian children not just by homosexuals but also by heterosexuals residing in countries that have gay marriage on the books, is reportedly supported by 74 per cent of Russians. And Putin has for years been able to get away with much worse: invading (and still occupying) Georgia, fuelling Assad’s murder machine, rigging elections, jailing journalists and opposition activists. Other than the odd bleat of protest from the European Union or US State Department, all that has had few serious consequences.

But Putin can’t have anticipated the magnitude of worldwide outrage that would pour forth in response to his gay propaganda law. It has earned Moscow more uniformly negative media coverage than practically anything Putin has done since assuming power in 2000. Anti-Kremlin gay protests have taken place across the world. There’s now a long list of foreign dignitaries not going to Sochi. It will be the first time since 2000 that America has not sent a president, first lady, vice president or former president to an Olympics. The presidents of Germany, France and Moldova, and the prime ministers of Canada and Belgium, have also let it be known that they won’t be going. No one admits that the decision was politically motivated, but there are small signs that western leaders tacitly support Stephen Fry, who called for ‘an absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics’.

Progressive countries have pointedly chosen openly gay athletes to represent them at the opening and closing ceremonies. We should expect demonstrations of gay pride, not dissimilar to Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute at the 1968 Games in Mexico.

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The conductor Valery Gergiev, an outspoken Putin supporter, recently felt the brunt of anti-Kremlin feeling in New York when activists disrupted concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera in October. At Gergiev’s opening performance with the London Symphony Orchestra the following month, a tuxedoed Peter Tatchell strode onto the stage and implored the audience to ‘oppose tyranny and show your support for the Russian people’ before being whisked away.

Funnily enough, the Carnegie programme featured three Stravinsky ballets commissioned by the homosexual Ballet Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev, while the Met performed Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, another friend of Dorothy. But Russia seems to be in a state of official denial about the gayness of its cultural figures. The country’s troglodytic culture minister has denied Tchaikovsky’s well-documented homosexuality, and the screenwriter of a new state-funded film about the composer told a newspaper that Tchaikovsky was merely ‘a person without a family who was stuck with the opinion that he supposedly loves men’.

Putin need only have studied his country’s treatment of Jews during the Soviet era to see what happens when the Russian government oppresses a minority group with a global diaspora of outsized cultural and political influence. In the 1970s and 1980s, the cause of Soviet Jewry became a major headache for Russian leaders, particularly during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who never let a meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev pass without some insistence on the right of Jews to emigrate. The plight of the Soviet refuseniks symbolised for millions of people around the world the cruel and foul system that was Soviet communism. It would be too much to say that this issue won the Cold War for the West. But it certainly played an important role.

Even Putin has realised that he has to dial down his homophobia. His recent interview with Andrew Marr, in which he declared that he has gay friends and said that gays are welcome in Sochi, was a clear attempt to defuse the situation in the run-up to the Games — though he rather spoilt it by adding the proviso that homosexuals should ‘leave children alone’, which is a bit like inviting a black family into one’s home and then greeting them  with a warning that they mustn’t make off with the silver.

While it’s been nice to watch opposition to Russia’s new tsar gather strength in the West, there’s something a little obnoxious in seeing so many liberals belatedly jump on the anti-Putin bandwagon. The crowd now calling for a boycott of the Winter Olympics and sounding positively Thatcheresque in their denunciations of Moscow were the same people who, during the last presidential election campaign, mocked Mitt Romney as an old-fashioned Cold Warrior for saying that Russia was ‘America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe’. That statement was as wise then as it is now: there is hardly any issue, from the Arctic Circle to Venezuela, in which Russia isn’t attempting to stymie the West.

Moreover, as bad as things have become for gay people in Russia, they are hardly the most downtrodden group in that benighted land. In October, a Moscow mob perpetrated what can only be described as a good old-fashioned Russian pogrom against migrant workers, calling for a Motherland cleansed of Central Asians and people from the Caucuses. Racial hatred is hardly new to Russia, of course, and in recent years Putin and his cronies have cynically fuelled it. Unfortunately, Uzbek and Tajik and Kyrgyz immigrants do not have a Stephen Fry.

Regardless, anything that draws attention to the ugliness of what is happening in Russia today is welcome. It’s for this reason that, invited last summer by the Kremlin’s international broadcaster RT (formerly Russia Today) to discuss the sentencing of Bradley Manning, I decided instead to buckle on a pair of rainbow braces and hijack the discussion. My two minute and 30 second harangue about the inhumanity of the anti-gay laws and my scolding the RT employees (who now count George Galloway as a colleague) for taking Putin’s blood money probably did not change any minds in the Kremlin. But it certainly raised some awareness in the West — where RT is disturbingly popular — about the threat Putin poses on so many fronts. Not long after, a New York opera critic asked me if she could borrow my braces for the Met’s opening night.

James Kirchick is a fellow with the Foreign Policy Initiative.


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Show comments
  • tolpuddle1

    The article noisily celebrates the power of the Homintern – the Gay International. Is its power good news ? Well, no, not if you want the West to survive. As for Western leaders boycotting Sochi, I doubt whether that has caused fear or distress in the Kremlin – why on earth should it ? Putin’s campaign would only have backfired if it had aroused popular opposition in Russia – it hasn’t.

    The idea that the dispute over the refuseniks brought down the Soviet Union (or even played the slightest part in its demise) is beyond absurd. (And it is of course bitterly anti-semitic to compare Jews with sexually-active homosexuals). Russia Today is “disturbingly” popular in the West because it is one of the very few voices opposing the West’s ruling capitalist-social-liberal consensus. But I pity Peter Tatchell if he ever runs into any of the Russian people he professes to support.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Why is it anti-semitic to compare Jews with homosexuals?

      • tolpuddle1

        With sexually active homosexuals, yes.

        Ethnicity and sexual orientation are involuntary, but homosexual behaviour is a choice – and (if the Jewish scriptures are to be believed) one that appals the Almighty.

        The Gay Lobby’s comparison of sexually-active homosexuals to the victims of colour prejudice has also backfired, leading to bitter homophobia among black people. We must all hope that Tatchell & Co don’t start comparing themselves with the victims of “Islamophobia.”

        • Fred Scuttle

          The Jewish scriptures are not to be believed.

          • Dan

            I take it then that you know more than the 45 mainly ancient languages mastered by Prof. Robert Dick Wilson who thereby read and compared dozens of ancient texts and showed that the Bible (OT) is far and away the most accurate.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          You mean that comparing homosexuality to Jews is antisemitic so long as you believe the scriptures. If I don’t, then am I absolved from the charge of antisemitism?

          The spanish inquisition thought that jews could stop being jewish by converting. Oppressors don’t make a distinction between voluntary and involuntary behaviour.

          • tolpuddle1

            Behaviour is a choice. Those who perform homosexual acts (as opposed to those merely of homosexual orientation) are choosing to do so. If they are the victims of discrimination, clearly it is ludicrous and unjust for them to compare themselves to those who are discriminated against on grounds of race. And why not “oppress” people on the grounds of their behaviour, if this is a threat to society (as militant homosexuality obviously is) ?

            Declared Jews weren’t burnt by the Spanish Inquisition; its victims were people caught halfway between two religions whom it accused (absurdly) of the Judaising heresy.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Racial minorities can always go somewhere else. It is irresponsible of them to place themselves in danger by hanging around where they’re not wanted. They stand outside society, contribute nothing to it, undermine its cohesion, and must expect to be judged by it. The remedy is in their own hands.

            I said nothing about Jews being burned in Spain. Jews and converts both from time to time fell under suspicion and were persecuted. The persecutors did not care whether their Jewish ‘behavior’ was a choice or not.

          • splodge

            OK I’m gay and I make a deal with you – I’ll stop having sex when heterosexual people stop.

        • JD

          Sadly, homophobia is far more a result of diatribes by lost Christians and fundamentalists of all sorts than by sex. I personally prefer my sex private…but note a prurient interest in among detractors of the presumed sex lives of LGBT. Get out of the clubs and into the world where real people have jobs and go home “too tired” just like anybody else.

          Your point that interpreters of God’s will have a problem with non-traditional, less controllable relationships is sound.

          • tolpuddle1

            I haven’t the tiniest interest in the sex lives of LGBT people; but when they parade through the streets (waving pink banners and – Heaven help us ! – blowing whistles), when they incessantly insist that gay sex is as good as straight sex, when they take large bus adverts ordering people to “Get Over It” and when they successfully lobby Parliament to institute Gay Marriage

            – When LGBT people do all this, their sex lives are no longer private, wouldn’t you say ?

            As The Last of the Sixties Liberals, I wish they’d just keep quiet and be content with tolerance; by demanding more, they may end up with less – indeed, are already ending up with less in much of the world.

  • tolpuddle1

    The writer says Putin poses a threat “on so many fronts.” In other words, the West’s power-brokers (and their hangers-on, like James Kirchick) don’t like him.

    Thus the article is an attempt at creating an anti-Putin movement in the West, using real concern over gays (and phoney concern over racial minorities in Russia) as rallying cries. The effect of all this on the geopolitical situation (which is James Kirchick’s main concern) is nil; it wasn’t Putin who stopped the US bombing Assad – it was Tories and Republicans. The neo-conservative era is over.

  • crosscop

    So, Russia bans “gay propaganda” and the West is up in arms about it. Meanwhile, Iran hangs gays from cranes and the Saudis cut off their head or flog them.

    “A court in the western city of Qunfuda on Saturday sentenced five of the men to six years in prison and 2,600 lashes. The men are to be flogged 52 times in 50 sessions, the officer said on condition of anonymity.
    The four other defendants were sentenced to five years and 2,400 lashes. They are to be flogged 48 times in 50 sessions. There will be a pause of 15 days between each of the flogging sessions.” April 2000.

    “Two men in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to 7000 lashes each after being convicted of sodomy and have received their first round of punishment in public, a newspaper said today.” October 2007.

    “Two unidentified gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran this week for the crime of homosexuality. According to the London Times, the youths were executed in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north-east Iran.” October 2005.

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals
    Why all the flak aimed at Putin?

    • David Kay

      because the followers of Putin dont behead his critics or carry out suicide bombings. He’s an easy target for the gay rights activists

    • CiaranJGoggins

      It is far from easy being gay abroad. Two years ago I was denied entry to
      Iran by two homophobic immigration officers just because I had a quantity
      of homosexual magazines and other parafanalia. They were really brutal towards me and kept mocking me. It really upset me, I am just grateful that here in the UK and Ireland gays get a fair crack of the whip and are treated normally.

      • Rocksy

        ‘a fair crack of the whip’ hmmmm

    • Watt_A_Pryke

      I was refused entry to Iran in 2012 because I was gay.

      • Doggie Roussel

        I’m sure that they wouldn’t have held your colour against you…

      • geronimoooo4

        i hope you thanked them

      • KL

        i think they did you a favor…why would you want to go into Iran anyway?

    • http://sochisucks.com/ Sochi Sucks™

      “…Meanwhile, Iran hangs gays from cranes and the Saudis cut off their head or flog them.”

      Russia is like an alcoholic uncle. Every one knows it, but no one do anything about it until he molests his little nephew. At this point, Russia becomes Iran and Saudi Arabia. We don’t want Russia to go there, so we’re all up in arms about it.

      • DenZel29

        Wow are you serious? Russia becoming Iran and Saudi Arabia? What generation are you from? Obviously the same one as me but damn if you really believe that is even possible you are insane.

  • David Kay

    The only people who oppose Putins law to protect children from homosexual paedos are the left wing media and those with a vested interested. Everyone else thinks Putins got it right

    Why are these lefties and activists so quite about whats going on in their beloved world of the Religion of Peace where unlike in Russia homosexuality is a crime and they are executed for it as well

    • Shust

      Actually, it was mainly Russia that stopped the U.S. bombing of Syria. They vetoed the UN solution, said that they will counter Western acts of aggression, and most importantly, proposed a much better peaceful alternative

      • David Kay

        indeed it was. I wanted the west to bomb the Syrian muslim terrorists but for some strange reason my government wanted to help them

      • Rocksy

        Kerry looks like a Muppet but I believe he first mentioned disposing of the Syrian chemical weapons and the idea was picked up by the Russians.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      It’s easier to make a Russian issue of it since there’s a big olympic circus going on. If the world cup was going to Iran or Saudi, we’d hear all about gay rights there as well. It might be opportunistic, but campaigners always pick their moments shrewdly.

      • David Kay

        im afraid you are quite wrong Mr Vernon. The 2022 Football world cup is in Qatar, and we have heard nothing about the persecution of homosexuals in that country. All we have heard about is how hot it is going to be for the over paid nancy boys who call themselves football players

        http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_%28Qatar%29

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          2022 is a long way off. I take it that you will look favorably on gay protests when the time comes? Since Russia has been so unfairly singled out?

          The current maximum penalty in Qatar (up to 3 years in jail) is more lenient than the law in England before 1994 (when consenting adults were still being jailed under various statutes). We have come a very long way in a very short time, which gay activists sometimes forget when they denounce foreign governments.

          • David Kay

            2022 isnt a long way away, and even if it was, its now to start campaigning to get them to move the WC to a new venue so it has time to prepare

            you obvioulsy didnt read the link. To compare the UK with Qatar is disgusting. Read the link and stop making excuses for muslims.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Did you read the link yourself? Some of these claims date from 1998. According to Wikipedia, the Qatari penal code has changed so that the max sentence is now 3 years jail. This is comparable to sentences in western countries in recent times. Now, if you’re telling me that gays get flogged in spite of the reforms, that’s another matter – but do you know if this is true?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Qatar

            It is not ‘making excuses for muslims’ merely to point out a matter of fact. I am not a muslim myself, and I have no interest in supporting the sheikhs, colonels and mullahs. The world doesn’t divide neatly into muslim apologists and muslim anxietists.

          • David Lindsay

            the Qatari penal code has changed so that the max sentence is now 3 years jail

            Whereas adult, private, consensual homosexual activity is not illegal in Russia.

            Unlike in the Saudi and Qatari backers of the Syrian rebels.

            Unlike in India, as recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.

            And unlike in several American states, at least nominally.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            All true, but David Kay was claiming (based on old data from an obsessional anti-muslim site) that gays in Qatar are being flogged. Hence my reply.

          • DenZel29

            2022 World Cup? Not comparable to the Olympics and that is 8 years away. That is a long time and I guarantee if I had not been informed about this WC on this site I never would have known this through TV or general media and I played this sport for many years. 2022 is almost a decade away and your point is obsolete.

    • JD

      Guest who rails anonymously…surely you know that percentages alone are enough to conclude that there are more heterosexual than homosexual paedophiles.

      Hmmm, maybe there should be a law forbidding straight people to be acknowledged, barred from adopting children, etc. and accused of propaganda if any have the temerity to say, ‘we’re just here, don’t want to hide but don’t want to be beaten either!’

  • Shust

    Mr. Kirchick, my tolerance of gays significantly decreased after you pulled that stunt on RT and after writing this ridiculous anti-Russian articles

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Come on, you can’t be that impressionable. Some journo irritates you, and this colours your thinking about gays you’ve never met and gay issues in general?

    • JD

      Your “tolerance” of the existence of a class of people would better be based on moral values so as to avoid being whiplashed by the trends of media profit making!

  • http://www.bloomsburyreview.com Webster

    Thank you for speaking up. “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • David Kay

      you’re welcome. The silence from gays about whats happening to their fellow gays in muslim lands is deafening isnt it. Shame on them and shame on the GBLT community for not speaking out

      Nice avatar btw, siamese cats are cool

      • Shorne

        I was fortunate, if that’s the right word, to find myself confronting a person slagging of Israel the other day. When I gave him a summary of this;http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals
        _(Palestinian_Authority_area) he basically called me a liar but I think I worried him. I’m not gay by the way if that matters.
        Savannah cats are better.

      • Ciaran_J_Goggins

        I was going to visit Iran to campaign for gay rights there but they would not allow me to enter the country.

        • David Kay

          if very important for gays to practice safe sex in muslim lands, make sure you you always have an ak 47 with you

        • Doggie Roussel

          You must have a death wish !

      • logdon

        Isn’t that a happy sandwich?

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        If gays protested about gay rights in Iran, you’d support their campaign and reject Iranian pretexts about child protection?

        • David Kay

          id support gays and laws to protect children as well. Equality isnt a one way gay street even though the gay activists want it to be

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Well… Russia has made it a one-way street by linking the two questions. But I’m glad to hear that you support gays in Iran, and I presume in Russia as well.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        Tatchell and co. do campaign against executions in iran , anti-gay muslim vigilantes in the east end of London, and fundamentalist muslim groups like hizb-ut tahrir. He’s been called an islamophobe by an LSE academic for his pains.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      I’m glad your cat thinks so – but is he speaking up for the gays, or against them? Both sides could claim support from MLK

  • Read Fagburn.com

    How surprising to see the far right gay idiot Kirchick writing for The Spectator about his favourite subject.

  • David Prentice

    I now actively despise gays thanks to the 24/7 Agenda. Putin should be applauded for standing up to the smear machine.

    • Brendan Fleming

      “I now actively despise gays”? Doesn’t take take up a lot of time?

    • Ciaran_J_Goggins

      That’s so unfair.

    • Shust

      David, although I am experiencing similar effects due to the damn 24/7 coverage of this crap, actively despising a certain type of people is uncalled for.

    • Shust

      I don’t even actively despise Al Quaeda, even after they crashed some planes into weak Americwn buildings

  • olderwiser

    To compare homosexual lifestyle activists with Stalin era Jews is a grave insult to the untold number of Jews who suffered under Stalin. Just as the continual effort to cast homosexual demands in the U.S.A. as a civil rights issue insults African Americans who suffered and died crusading for equal rights. The hyper-politically correct western democracies ignore gender realities pandering for votes and media approval. I suspect that 100 years from now people will look back on the inane decisions to grant societal approval to “gay rights” and wonder what on earth today’s western leaders were thinking. Despite a plethora of solid research showing that allowing children to be adopted by homosexuals is an unmitigated disaster for the children, society still caters to the desires of the adult homosexuals and ignores the needs of the children. This comes from the same culture of death that has given us abortion on demand. What a sad day when a Russian dictator evidences more commonsense than all the leaders of the so-called free world.

    • Baron

      You’ve said it succinctly, olderwise, but very well. Sadly, those who should listen are deaf.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      I can see that gay rights might be trivial in comparison with jewish affairs – but why is support for gays an insult to jews? Do jews feel insulted? I doubt they’re as thin skinned as all that (having much more weighty historic grievances to worry about)

    • logdon

      Promotion of gay rights and a homosexual lifestyle was apparently one of the Frankfurt Marxist ploys of decimating Western population growth.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        A lot hinges on that word ‘apparently.’ None of the leading Frankfurters (Adorno, Horkheimer, Habermas, Marcuse…) was gay, so they didn’t take their own advice, if what you write is true. And marxists historically have been opposed to Malthusian panics about population growth. Finally, barrier contraceptives have been widely available since the 1930s, so advocating homosexuality would be a bizarre way of reducing populations. Birth control is the main reason that american women on average have 1.4 children, rather than 7 live births as they did on the 19th century.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          Whoever voted my comment down ought to say what is wrong with it. Where did I make a mistake?

    • JD

      Sadder still is the fact that the Holocaust has been surpassed in regimes since then with the world content to repeat its nonchalance and yet it is the right of gays to live peacefully, safely among us that gets some people riled.

  • justin bristow

    This author is an idiot. He analyzes this from his own perspective and then uses his opinion of the law to say Putin miscalculated. Quite on the contrary. United Russia could not care less about gays. The Russian elite and their power brokers could not care less. Unlike the US, Russia has more than just 1st world problems of moral pontificating about abortion, homosexuals and free contraceptives.

    Among Russias problems- no warm water ports with access to oceans, frigid landscapes that bring death to anyone without suitable working infrastructure, extremely thin population density which makes infrastructure expensive, powerful, sovereign and independent alliance blocs on their borders, significant populations of ethnic minorities, little history of personal responsibility or culture of initiative that pushes the money oriented into government corruption instead of business.

    The gay thing is a non-issue by comparison. It is a tool that does two things. First, it fits into a concentrated state effort to promote a culture of high fertility by enshrining traditional religious values as state recognized values. Second, it divides the West, Russias past, current and future primary concern. (unlesd you are a Westerner or Japanese, and then you go around saying Russia cares primarily about China despite all evidence).

    So sorry fans of gay sex, but there is still the matter of that 40-50 percent that disagrees with that behavior for strong, unwavering reasons. Now as you make war on Putin you endear him tothat 40-50 percent. That’s a real boost for Russia long term because it will steadily erode the monolithic hate for Russia since the start of the Cold War in Western countries. It will gradually undermine the collective will of the West to pick real fights (as opposed to rhetorical ones) with Russia and, for the first time since the fall of Communism give Russia an opposition in the West with which to cooperate.

    • Bert

      They aren’t bright enough to understand. It’s all about their next sexual conquest. That’s all there is in the gay/queer world.

      • JD

        This sounds rather like projection–or sour grapes? If the only people you know are hanging out in clubs getting laid, you’re either young and straight (!) or finding that the only outlet available is shut away in clubs becuase holding your partners hand might get you killed. Bright? Indeed.

  • Baron

    Listen up, you brave defender of gayness, get yourself to Saudi Arabia, hijack their broadcast, push for gay rights, and if you make it back, then talk.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      I don’t follow your logic. Are you saying that civic rights should only be mentioned in the country with the worst record? In that case, one should only talk about women’s issues in Afghanistan (or Saudi, or…take your pick, but choose only one). Or do you mean that civic rights are always a distraction, in whatever country?

      • Baron

        Exercising the brain would help, Jeffrey.

        If what Kirchik preaches were Baron’s obsession the blue veined barbarian would have a different list of priorities for one simple but charmingly compelling reason: Banning gays to shout about homosexuality is less painful than lashing, stoning or beheading them. You don’t believe Baron, you go ahead try.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          This is not a reply to what I wrote.

          • JD

            Methinks Baron & Co. have some misguided perceptions about sexuality–i tak vsegda.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Soglasno

    • clarknt67

      I wasn’t aware Saudi Arabia is hosting a worldwide sporting event dedicated to global harmony. Link?

      • David Lindsay

        The World Cup is going to constitutionally Wahhabi Qatar. Kirchick should try this on Al Jazeera.

        My literal 15 minutes of fame were on RT last year, discussing a foreign power’s mistreatment of British Citizens on British territory.

        The BBC and ITN never replied to me. Sky News sent an abusive response, bizarrely copied to several of my former employers. But RT let me on. Let it flourish.

        And come on Kirchick, go on Al Jazeera and say even what you said on RT, never mind anything more appropriate to Qatari policy.

        • Baron

          David, a notch in your favour for this posting. Many live under the impression RT bats fully for Putin, if they were to watch often they would find RT to be more balanced than any of our broadcasters on quite a number of issues.

          • David Lindsay

            It is invaluable.

          • Jordan Breon

            I’ve been watching RT more than domestic ‘news’ outlets this past year.

            RT does have a bias, and an agenda. It’s obviously intended to stir subversive feelings towards the West. It’s for this reason that RT is so good, because it is not trying to be a lapdog for the West’s imperialist goals.

            On the other hand, take what RT reports on Russia itself with a grain of salt.

          • Baron

            Good point, Jordan, it would unreal if the RT didn’t show a bias, its coverage of the Ukrainian crisis is a good example, but all in all, they seem to give a fair crack of the whip to the opposing viewpoint, something the BBC crew don’t on issues that interest people – the EU, global warming, immigration.

          • Jordan Breon

            Your enemies always give a more honest opinion than your friends.

      • sue

        when in ROME……………………………………………………………………

      • Jordan Breon

        You jest. If the Olympics had anything to do with global harmony, it wouldn’t be entirely based around the nation-state. I mean, the Olympics is all about division; my team (country) against everyone else’s team. I wrap the flag of my team around myself, march in a parade divided by teams, subject you to the patriotic hymn, count medals to see who’s team has the most, divide where you stay by the team you’re on, the list goes on.

        If the Olympics was about harmony, the athletes would wear a standard uniform, compete with one another, and the nation-state they are subjugated by would never be discussed or seen in any fashion.

  • celtthedog

    This reminds me of the story of the two Irish queers, Henry Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzhenry.

    It’s almost as much of a joke as this article.

    • Ciaran_J_Goggins

      The average Irish gay guy can stay up all night………..drinking!

    • Graeme S

      what about Ben Down and Phil McCavity

      • Lord Edmund Moletrousers

        they were both expelled from Eton for wearing socks in bed, the giveaway of the lower & middle classes who attempt to ingratiate themselves with their betters

        • Doggie Roussel

          Moletrousers, you are an arrant fraud and arriviste !

      • Doggie Roussel

        He was actually, Ben Doun!

      • Rocksy

        What about Phil McCracken?

    • Fred Scuttle

      Ah yes, two Catholic priests.

  • David Prentice

    And for all their sound and squealing hysteria, here are the UK numbers: The Integrated Household Survey,[22] produced by the Office of National Statistics, gives the following figures for the period April 2011 to March 2012:
    1.1 per cent of the surveyed UK population, approximately 545,000 adults, identified themselves as Gay or Lesbian.

    • Steven Rhodes

      May I David, without a hint of squealing or hysteria, ask why a statistic is relevant to the right to non-interference by the state in my private life and further (to the extent to which it may be relevant) why 545,000 is not a significant population?

      • Dan

        It’s still less than the 660,000-plus who signed the petition against gay marriage – naturally as in such cases the total number opposed will be many times higher. Why did parliament ignore that *very* significant population?

        But you don’t seem to realise that the violation of state non-interference now falls precisely the other way, viz. when the state taxes us to hand over dosh to this particular minority whose only claim to fame is acts of YKW.

        • Steven Rhodes

          Sadly, Dan, if you’re going to make a populist case, you’d better ensure that your preferred viewpoint is popular. The majority of people back gay marriage in every recent poll. And please ‘enlighten us’ as to these acts of YKW? I didn’t know there was a gay subsidy tax, by the way; do you have the details?

  • danram

    Putin is a two-bit thug. He’s more like a mafia don dispensing favors and ruling by fear and intimidation than he is a genuine head of state.

    Mark this down: As soon as his beloved Sochi Olympics are over, he’s going to demand that Viktor Yanukovych start cracking heads in Ukraine or he’ll send in Russian forces to do it for him.

    The showdown is coming. Hopefully the west won’t pathetically wilt like we did in Georgia in 2008. Moving a couple of US carrier battle groups into the Black Sea would send a strong message to Putin that if he tries to send his tanks across the border things will go very badly for Russia, not only militarily but also economically. The millions that he, Yanukovych, and their flunkies have stolen and stashed in western banks will be immediately frozen, their travel visas will be revoked, and Russia will be drummed out of thr G8.

    But then again, that would require a president with some genuine backbone …. which is something I don’t think we have at the moment, unfortunately. Maybe I’m wrong. For the sake of my Ukrainian friends, I hope I am.

    No doubt, someone will reply to this message with something along the lines of “Why should we interfere? It’s not in our interests to get involved. It’s Russia’s back yard, after all.” I would argue that it is very much in our interests that Vladimir Putin not be allowed to reconstitute the Soviet Union in fact if not in name, which is plainly what he wants to do.

    Then there’s also our moral obligation, as the leader of the free world, to stand up for people who want to throw off their corrupt and repressive government so that they can enjoy the same basic rights that you and I take for granted.

    • Baron

      What’s fuelling the few remaining brain cells of yours, danram, you grazing?

      Victor Nabokov once quipped the history of Russia is the history of her secret service … When communism imploded, the KGB was the only well run (well run in the communist context), nationwide, time tested institution the Russians had. It was either the Chekists, or anarchy, mob rule, possibly a civil war.

      This isn’t to either excuse Putin, or endorse him, it merely says he is the best the Russians can have for the interim, or at least as good as anyone else from the same outfit.

      And as for his push to make Russia great again, why shouldn’t he? Here many a Brit still cannot ‘have closure’ of losing the empire, half a century after its disintegration. How do you think the Russians feel having moved from a feared world superpower to near oblivion only a couple of decades ago?

      And another thing: get rid of the high moral breast beating. Wherever we’ve interfered recently we’ve fugged up. We better sort ourselves out, leave other do do as they want.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        If Putin wants to make Russia great, why doesn’t he get on with it and stop hyping the threat of a tiny minority?

  • MC

    Just think about it, if the whole world turned gay, the human race would go extinct in a very short time. And please don’t give any response about Invitro/surrogacy, that is way too expensive for even 1st world countries, imagine 3rd world. The law passed is backed by the majority of Russians so stop blaming Putin for it.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Is the whole world turning gay? Are you thinking about it? As others on this page have pointed out, even in the decadent west only about 1-2% of the population are gay (and this includes lesbians who were married and had children before changing their minds)

    • Tom

      Perhaps.

      However, so would it if the entire human race turned to chastity, like Catholic priests and nuns, as well as Buddhist monks etc. Hmm, that must mean that chastity is to be discouraged.

    • JD

      How on earth can there be people who fear “the world turning gay”? The mind simply boggles.

  • rtj1211

    I must say it was strange timing and a strange audience to choose.

    Maybe internally, he has support, but the Olympics is about being a global host, welcoming all comers, even those whose values and culture are different from your own.

    However, I guess it behoves the West to ask President Putin if he has done a lot of business outside of Europe and the USA courtesy of his homophobic rant.

    If so, maybe the West needs to realise that not everyone agrees with them?? It wouldn’t be the first time, after all…….

  • Weltschmerz

    You are a hate mongerer.

    What a typically biased articles. I have been a friend to the gay community for years. I always felt safe and comfy at the bars. But I noticed that gay rageholics have been on the rise for no reason – I celebrated my birthday at a lesbian club. I brought one straight male friend and they without even talking to him, they HATED him. They wanted him gone even though it was illegal.. I was happy we got out of there safe as I was afraid he’d be shanked. It was disturbing and I haven’t been back since.

    Also, as everyone knows, dozens of other countries have worse laws than Russia, including Obamas beloved Indonesia and Kenya. Being gay is not illegal and not punished in Russia. They rightly are trying to protect the children.

    It wasn’t so long ago that your bff jimmy savile was found to have abused children in **satanic rituals** for 40-50 years on BBC and NHS property. Over 1000 victims – its thought he might have even abused them daily. Where was your outrage then??? This rapist pervert was knighted and a close friend of the royal family. Savile’s behaviour was well known to the BBC community and presumably other media outlets such as the Spectator.

    It is clear from the completely wrong info in your article that you are a crypojew or Jew. Everyone knows that the Jews ran the first USSR gov. Lenin, Stalin and many others were Jews. Stalin killed approx 43 million and probably an additional 50 million in gulags – mostly christian. But we never hear about that! We are just told to give money to the poor Jews… And are forced to listen as you rewrite history.

    In Canada, the man responsible for writing the horrific new child sex laws, including training in anal sex, was discovered to be a huge pedophile. He was in charge of education in 2 provinces. Oh and he was held in great esteem by the Premier who is a lesbian. She probably knew about what he was doing.

    So don’t rag on Putin for actually wanting kids to be safe – maybe he wants them to be allowed to be kids before becoming sexual creatures.

    You are ignorant about Russian culture. Russians could not care less about gays. They are not a warm people and rarely smile (they distrust people who have a social fake smile and prefer to smile only when genuine). Of course they don’t want gay parades! Russia has serious issues about infrastructure, population, the weather, recovering from the cold war, employment, etc etc etc. Russians prefer to have sex in the bedroom not paraded around – both straight and gay.

    How dare you attack a sovereign nation when the democratically elected leader is reflecting the wishes of his people?!

    You have no ethics and are a shame to your profession when you spread divisive propaganda and lies.

    Cheers!

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Was Jimmy Savile gay?

      • TRAV1S

        Savile promoted a non-traditional sexual relationship to that Cub Scout in his dressing room.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          That hardly amounts to gay satanic rituals over 50 years.

      • Doggie Roussel

        I believe not, but he was a paedophile, as well as being a Papal Knight of St Gregory…

        Doesn’t the Vatican have some strange friends.

        • Lord Edmund Moletrousers

          talking of strange, you remind me of a chap I used to go to school with, he’s in the mad house now, terminally insane, rants on about the Jesuits night & day

          • Doggie Roussel

            You remind me of a deranged nutter on the Damian Thompson blog who goes under many aliases, but was originally identified as Mahatmacoatmabag.

            You certainly can’t have been educated by the Jesuits. None of their alumni would have started a sentence with a lower case letter.

            Get that carrot out of your fundament, pronto !

            Are you one of the original Claqueurs ?

          • Doggie Roussel

            Hello Maha !

        • Fred Scuttle

          Savile was priest material.

      • edithgrove

        no he wasn’t

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          Weltschmertz was trying to link gays to paedophilia.

    • Damon

      “It is clear from the completely wrong info in your article that you are a
      crypojew or Jew. Everyone knows that the Jews ran the first USSR gov.
      Lenin, Stalin and many others were Jews.”

      You silly, mad b-stard.

    • JD

      Hang on fellow – be assured that the father of three and former Deputy Minister in the Province of Ontario has no national role. Even there, he is but an administrator, yes, Minister, it’s true! If guilty–he’ll be punished under the law.

      Curriculum is not written by any individual but derives from lengthy process with content determined by committees responsible for shaping education. Individual input at the syllabi level is similarly not carried out by bureaucrats and is similarly vetted by subject matter committees before bureaucrats get a look. In Ontario’s unusual structure involving Catholic schools, it is no surprise that sex education of any kind is controversial.

      Separately, please examine the cultural role of gender relations in Russia, the extraordinary (but hardly unique–check out Brits in Thailand) combination of wealthy older men and very, very young women before you get too caught up in defaming all and sundry. Power may be held more securely when a scapegoat (population) is found to focus dissatisfaction away from real topics to more controllable ones. That’s…well….the history of human kind. Don’t be duped!

  • Alexandrovich

    “This time, Russia’s thuggish president has picked on the wrong minority.”
    Get you! What are you going to do then, pop in the Kremlin and criticise the curtains?
    It really is a long, long time since I read such unmitigated, hysterical bollocks.

    • Ciaran_J_Goggins

      Not all gay men are scared to get stuck in.

      • logdon

        So I’ve heard.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      I disliked the tone of the article as well – but there’s quite a lot of hysteria among the comments on this page, if you care to look

  • ducdebrabant

    Mitt Romney is still an idiot, and Russia is still not my country (the U.S.)’s major geopolitical foe. China is. We could be embroiled in a Pacific war at any time that China decides to invade Taiwan or one of the islands it disputes with Japan or the Philippines… or any time it interferes with a U.S. aircraft where it has unilaterally declared it controls the airspace. It’s China’s economy, not Russia’s (Putin’s economic power is based entirely on oil exports) that threatens to overtake America’s in the future. It is China that is raising the price of commodities both nations need to import, with its increased demands. It is China’s power both as an exporter and an importer that is complicating our relationship with both China itself and with other nations from whom China imports raw materials. It is China that is systematically stealing American industrial and defense secrets. it is China with whom we have a balance of payments deficit, and which is the largest owner of our national debt. Putin may want to stymie the U.S., but he’s having limited success, even in the Ukraine, right next door to him.

  • Ciaran_J_Goggins

    My Gaydar tells me that Mr Putin is in denial.

  • BlessPapaBenny

    The LGBTP community need to pipe down.

    • clarknt67

      Too uppity for you?

  • Emerson_C

    The missing context of the new Russian laws against propagandizing ‘non-traditional’ sexual relations is the impending demographic implosion of Russia’s population. This is also the reason for tightening up on abortion and prohibiting the advertising of abortion. Recently there was 1.7 abortions to every live birth. Without change, the Russian replacement rate is so low that its population was destined to plunge from 130 million to less than 80 million this century. Only restoring the stability and privileges of traditional marriage and the family can avert this outcome. Bolshevik Russia between 2018 and 1936 was forced likewise to reverse its ‘sexual revolution’ and once again outlaw divorce (1929), suppress homosexuality (1932) and outlaw abortion and the free sale of contraceptives (1936). Since most of Eastern and Western Europe is also facing catastrophic demographic problems it will be forced sooner or later to reverse the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Great! More gays in jail, miserable women with 12 children, and coat-hanger abortions. Bring it on.

      If Russian wages and living conditions were improved, maybe families would want more children.

    • Baron

      Emerson-C, a well reasoned posting that, sadly the epicurean, solipsistic West hasn’t yet woken up to it but, as you point out, it must at some point.

      Two things on sex are undeniably true, we procreate by it, and we enjoy it. The State should have an interest in the former, unfortunately the boy in no 10 seems to think it’s the latter that matters, hence the new marriage bill. But then what would one expect from someone whose only exposure to real life was the chairmanship of the Oxford bee keepers association.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        The state should take an interest in procreation?

  • Clive Richards

    Why Russia and not Iran? – well firstly there has for a long time been a campaign for change in Iran and other countries but more importantly Russia is part of Europe and had been becoming more progressive in recent years – Putin is turning back the clock and it is widely believed that religious influences are at play. It is very very difficult to break the stranglehold of Islam on countries like Iran but is very important not to let religious extremism regain control in countries it had lost

    • Eddie

      Yes, but Russia is not ‘really’ part of Europe – it is not a normal European country, despite pretensions.
      Its vastness, history, culture, religion make it what it is – a corrupt dictatorship, whichever colour the crown the present king happens to be wearing.
      Russia is in many ways more like Asia and Arab states that Europe – and shares the same view of homosexuality: namely, the behaviour is fine, esp if you are the one being the ‘man’ on top, but the lifestyle most certainly isn’t. Most of the world shares that view too – only Western Europe (and then not really Greece or the south) and the USA (in part) differ.
      But why not the fuss about China during the Olympics then? They did – and do – far worse than Russia.

  • saffrin

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. More important things to be bleating about. The price of milk for example.
    How can Tesco charge £1.49 when Lidl flog it for £1?
    Outrageous.

    • clarknt67

      I guess you’ve never been kidnapped by Nazis and tortured on video, while police did nothing to investigate. If you had you’d understand what the fuss is about.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Because Lidl sells you 2 pints, but Tesco sells you 4?

      • Fred Scuttle

        Lidl sell you 2 litres for a quid.

  • Eddie

    Russia is a horrible country – a really dump, with a harsh, backwards culture, a nouveau riche that make the Beckhams look classy, disgusting food, worse attitudes, massive inequality and unpleasant religious leaders.
    However, how is that worse than China? When the Olympics were there, the Chinese were executing prisoners and harvesting their organs. They still kill and eat endangered species aplenty, and bribe Africans to kill elephants and rhinos. Not mention their taste for cats and dogs. Oh and the Chinese are mostly utter racists and as anti-gay as the Russians. And what about the Arabs hosting the football World Cup (which they got through bribes).
    So why are we complaining about Russia and not China? Couldn’t be that if we criticise China they stop doing business with us eh? As Norway discovered when they gave the Nobel prize to a dissident a while back.
    Let’s face it, most countries outside Western Europe are corrupt and disgusting. So what to do?

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Golly – disgusting Russians, Chinese, Arabs. Still, look on the bright side; in only 15 years they might have caught up with our own working class now that they’ve learned better table manners and speech codes. Once the chinese discover sun-dried tomatoes they’ll never look a cat roast in the face again.

      I wonder what they all think of us??

      • Eddie

        You misquote me to insinuate racism. You don’t seem to have grasped the point I make – which is a fairly obvious one, I would have thought – that we are complaining about Russia being a bigoted and backwards place that hates gays, but don’t seem to mind other places (China, the Arab world) which have the same opinion.
        I merely say what I see – and what I have seeb when visiting Russia, and the attitudes expressed by Russians I know who now live in Canada.
        People make the mistake of thinking Russia is a normal European country all the time. Essentially, it has not changed – it is a brutal one party state and has been for centuries, under Tsars or Commis Tsars or now corrupt oligarch-hugging Tsars. It’s deeply conservative with it too, and anti-liberty.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          There are complaints about Russia because Sochi is in the news. People are perfectly well aware of the situation in arab states and china; Tatchell has even been denounced as an islamophobe by an LSE academic for daring to mention it. When the olympics went to China, competitors and spectators took part in protests. I even saw coverage on telly about Tibetan lesbians.

          What struck me about your post was not racism but the sweeping statements based on ‘what you see’. You don’t suppose that no-one else has been to Russia/China or met Russians/Chinese with different attitudes?

          • Eddie

            Well, I’ve never met a Tibetan Lesbian so you’ve got one up on me there.
            My ‘sweeping statements’ are based on many years of not only travelling but also teaching students from these countries. I may like individuals from these countries, but the countries themselves are just awful.
            We are very ready to condemn some people but not others, when they all share the same bigotry. For example, the Chinese are really horribly racist, as are the Arabs, but no-one ever mentions that because only whites can be racist eh?
            Let’s face it, it’s all about money, If Russia were as rich and powerful as China, there would be NO protect against Russia. China is far worse on gay rights and other liberties than Russia, even though Russia is a basket case one-party state.
            I think I understand these countries very well actually. The problem most people have is that they think Russia is a European country so should be like us. Woollly thinking. Russia is not a normal European country and never has been – so to expect it suddenly to be one because it’s not commie any more is just plan silly. It only banned slavery in 1865 of course, and that slavery arguably continued until 1989 too.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Maybe you just don’t like travel. There’s no need to elevate it into a theory. Plenty of people become so beguiled by one of these countries that they go native; I was one of them.

            You’re missing my point about China – there WERE protests (Tibetan lesbians) in China itself, during the Olympics. China lives or dies on its exports, and it’s not going to cut anyone off because of a spat over human rights.

            Not everyone holds a ‘European’ perception of Russia either. At least in Britain, I think there’s a widespread view that Europe stops at Berlin. Prague is already exotic, and Russia is viewed as an asiatic police state with a drink problem.

          • Eddie

            Not at all – I have travelled a lot. However, I do not believe in the nonsense of Relatavism – and yes, I do believe that our Enlightenment values are superior to what you get in much of the world. Travel actually made me realise that – as did teaching people for over 50 countries, most of which are uber-nationalistic, corrupt and jingoistic beyond belief; tolerant and modern in the mindset they ain’t! It made me more British and more ready to defend our values and culture (not, not Dizzie Rascal). It seems travel had the opposite effect on you are made you go native (where? China?)

            You don’t seem to realise that my comments on Russia are what Russians have said to me – they left their country because it is such a basket case. As did the founder of Google, I believe – or his parents.

            People are always shocked by what happens in Russia because they assumed that after Communism it would just be like an Eastern version of any other European country. Not so. Communism just repeated the character of the nation from the time of the Tsars.

            You seem naïve about China. They WILL and HAVE cut people off because they have refused toi kowtow to the Chinese (they always love that and always have as they see themselves as the superior race on earth). Ask Norway. Ask the UK government why we or other EU countries rarely protest too much about the massive human rights abuses in China.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            I have no doubt that your informants are Russians. They left because they don’t like it there. I’ve met Russians who want to go back, and Russians who never left because they’re fine as they are, as well as Russians who desperately want to leave. There’s always a spectrum of responses. I entertained my Russian friends with stories about my childhood and schooling – they were shocked that it could happen in England. Must be an awful place.

            The protests over Sochi are not, I think, due to ‘shock’ about Russian attitudes. There is indignation that Russia bothers to pass a homo-promo law. But we had one in Britain in Thatcher’s time, so it’s not unheard of in the west. There may also be a conscious attempt by lobbyists to extend EU norms to a country that is known not to have them (like campaigning for abortion in Ireland).

            China is hypersensitive about public embarrassment, and maintains that human rights is a pretext for interference in its ‘internal affairs’. Away from the international stage, the picture is more nuanced. For example, Norway sponsors human rights seminars for Chinese academics, and works with Chinese medics on the rights of psychiatric patients. In a state where there are not really any ‘citizens’, rights are being introduced in this cautious piecemeal fashion. Arbitrarily, of course, a bureaucrat may take them away again.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            I’m against Relativism and in favour of the Enlightenment as well. This is clearly not enough to establish agreement between us.

      • Doggie Roussel

        They despise us… we are known by the Chinese as Gweilos… which is a reference to ghosts, or pale skin.

        Having lived for many years in the Far East, I have seen their onetime servility emerge into a sort of patronising condescension.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          You’ve made my point for me. The irrational response of some Chinese to some Westerners does not prove that West is disgusting (Eddie’s word for China, Russia, Arabia…)

          As insults go, Gwailo is pretty mild. It has come to mean merely ‘foreigner’ in south china, and does not always show disdain. In Beijing I was called a dabizi (big nose) in a joshing kind of way by Chinese colleagues.

          • Eddie

            I called those countries CORRUPT – and disgusting for their attitudes, which I have always found to be racist, chauvinistic, bigoted and backwards. I say what I see. If I knew anyone in the UK who shared those attitudes, I would call them the same thing. I have nothing against individuals from any country – I am assessing the culture of these countries, that is all.
            Want to hear racism? Just ask a Chinaman about Japan. In general, the attitudes in China are uniform – they are superior, whites are inferior and should kowtow, blacks are monkeys (and many Chinese refuse to accept kinship with black humans so reject Darwin).
            I am saying that The West is more open-minded and tolerant than the countries I mention which are all dictatorships. You seem to forget that – and really, you are being relativistic, even if you claim not to be.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            As I wrote to Doggie Roussel, Chinese can be chauvinists and so can Westerners. Our mutual disdain does not ‘prove’ anything about either culture. I have met Japanese who hated Chinese; does this make China go up in your estimation?

            Asking Chinese about Japanese is like asking Jews about Germans. Some will make a distinction between people and state, and some will not.

            Nothing can be grasped about China/Russia/etc by saying ‘they’re all the same and they always have been.’ If a Chinese left Britain with an impression of football, riots, soft porn, slebs and beans on toast, would he be entitled to say that’s all that happens here? No, he’d be missing out on plenty that’s positive about private and public life, history and culture. Brits abroad are in the same position.

            You can meet bigoted Americans, but this does not colour your view of America as a whole, I presume.

            Some examples of my relativism, please?

          • JD

            Gwielo is historically disdainful and currently happily “claimed” by … gweilos. It is a Cantonese term and is characteristic of the former colonies relationship with its masters. Some of my staff where not being polite in referencing me as “old big dick” but I could never get anyone to help me really understand the term 9not, as they say, being so spectaculary blessed as to reveal the fact through a suit 😉

        • Cyril Sneer

          I was in a relationship with a lovely Chinese girl for about 2 years. Best quality person I’ve ever slept with. And yes, you’re right, they’re indeed rather racist, they dislike blacks more than whites.

    • Cyril Sneer

      If the recipient of said complaints are white in appearance or white only in left wing imagination (see Russia, see Israel, see George Zimmerman) then that is enough to incur the full wrath of the left. If the recipient is of dark skin (see Saudi Arabia, see Iran, see Hamas) then the usual liberal blind spot applies and the colour of the receipients skin overrides their oppression of gays thus the racial/anti-racist/anti-white cause overrides any other cause.

      Why do you think it’s easier to talk about EU immigration and not non-EU immigration when discussing border controls? One is perceived to be predominantly white whilst the other is perceived to be predominantly non-white.

      • Eddie

        Good point, and utterly true.
        One is simply not allowed to ever criticise anyone with a dark skin and a religion. If only Hitler had blacked up and carried a Koran, we’d probably have given him a council grant to help him invade eh?

      • JD

        Hmmm, the Sneer fits. Pls. don’t assume that those concerned about human rights in Russia a) limit that concern to the LGBT populace or (b) somehow turn a blind eye to the same abuses elsewhere – UAE, Uganda, Cryodon…

  • mandelson

    I think you may be surprised at just how many people in the West have said to themselves “Well done Putin”.

    • Fred Scuttle

      All the cretins.

    • Cyril Sneer

      I respect Putin for speaking his mind, schooling Obama in foreign politics and showing him up for the fake he is, and not bowing down to militant liberalism.

      Putin seems to be the only leader willing to speak up and defend Christian interests. He seems intent on combating Islamic terrorism whilst our own leaders seem intent on supporting Islamic terrorism.

    • JD

      possibly not surprised after reading the tripe seen here! Brings to mind the deficiencies of the education system, fetal alcohol syndrome and such…

      • mandelson

        I think the failings of the education system are evident in your spelling.

        • JD

          Such depth of analysis! May you find peace and compassion in your heart.

          • mandelson

            Sarcasm noted.

  • la catholic state

    Actually…..this was not a law against homosexuals….but a law protecting children. I wish we had such a law in this country…as homosexual propaganda is shovelled down our children’s throats at every opportunity! Not only is homosexual activity sinful….but most mothers and fathers want their children to get married and have children. This is the natural order of things, and the only way we have of ensuring a future.
    So before you start playing the gay sympathy card….try to see the broader picture, and let’s as a society put children first, shall we?! It’s called growing up.

    • Fred Scuttle

      There is no evidence for any homosexual propaganda being forced down any “children’s throats”, it’s all in your tiny screwed up religious nut mind.The best way to protect our children is to keep them away from Catholic priests.

      • la catholic state

        It’s on all tv programs etc. And if you dare dissent….why….you might as well start packing for the gulags again….except they haven’t opened them in Britain….yet.

        • Fred Scuttle

          Drool

          • la catholic state

            Too bad for you….it’s not going to happen! LOL However….Hell is waiting for you.
            So no more gay propaganda for our kids! Putin is right.

          • Fred Scuttle

            Don’t be so pathetic. Hell threats don’t work on realists.

          • la catholic state

            Hell works on everybody who goes there.

          • Fred Scuttle

            If you say so love. Now you go over there and sit next to that nice man that thinks he talks to Jesus while I get your medication.

          • Aimee Barfield

            And you shall see la catholic state, for your hatred and bigotry may just land you there.

          • la catholic state

            Sorry….but I don’t hate anybody….but I do hate sin…..beginning with my own.

            Maybe it’s time for you to check out your own sins too. Or don’t you have any?! Tsh.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Do you think that homosexuality is so attractive and beguiling that children will ‘go gay’ when they see all those homos on Watch with Mother? If it’s that simple, I’m surprised that there are any heteros left.

      • la catholic state

        I think when notions of sexual abandon and lack of morals are promoted….many will sexually experiment. And not only does this involve them in sin….but it may jeporadise their later choices. For instance…what woman would want a man who had been with another man?!
        I don’t think in the long run it will make people go ‘gay’….but it will involve a not very edifying life style behaviour.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          Who are all these sexual experimenters? Were you tempted yourself? If not, why do you believe that other people are? I just don’t believe in the seductive power of homosexual images. I don’t believe either that wanting to have sex is a kind of moral dissolution.

          If a man did flip-flop from gay to straight, I expect he’d keep quiet about it – any woman he subsequently slept with is simply not going to know (unless he thinks they’d get a thrill from the idea of having ‘converted’ a poofter to the true cause: some straight men feel this way about lesbians)

          • la catholic state

            Because it is promoted as being non-sinful. Why promote that which is sinful….whatever it is?! It is wrong to do so.

          • bengeo

            Can there be sin without belief in God?

          • la catholic state

            Yes there can. Even those who don’t believe in God can recognise evil…..otherwise they are not just atheists….they are dangerous psychopaths.
            How ignorant and uncivilised our post-Christian society has become.

    • JD

      Listen, overwhelmingly it is heterosexual men who (statistically) represent a greater threat to children. The law passed in Russia (wait for more coming) makes it impossible for my friends–who know me as a gay parent in a 20 year monogamous relationship–cannot acknowledge my existence in the face of diatribes about “gays threaten children and are more promiscuous than the average Russian exec after a pubescent schoolgirl”. The closing of minds on this issue is disgraceful, the words hurtful. May you live in the world you imagine.

      • la catholic state

        Sorry…..but I am not talking about physical abuse. I am talking about corrupting the mind of the young. What parent would put inappropriate materials and ideas into the heads of the young?! Of any variety?! Homosexuality has no connection to children….and they should not be exposed to it. That is abuse. Even though heterosexuality begets children…..they should still not be exposed to it in a graphic way….as they cannot understand it.

        • JD

          Trying to be respectful, let me urge you to reflect deeply. Homosexuality is an orientation, not an act, and relationships are about love. (And there is no “act” between a same sex couple that doesn’t also occur among many opposite sex couples…we must separate the prurient from the orientation).

          I agree completely that pornography and children do not mix–I still don’t want my daughter seeing it and she’s in her 20s! This has nothing to do with orientation and everything to do with misguided management of rights issues.

          Nor do I disagree that premature exposure to sex is harmful (despite that many a couple has been walked in on and generally this risk of any trauma is a matter of parenting skills–another topic).

          It is not, however, abuse to explain the existence of homosexual people any more than it is to explain the existence of people of different colour…they exist and are part of the diversity of our world and the complexity of our societies.

          Many children are raised in same-sex parent homes and never see any sex at all. In some cultures, men and women exchange hugs and kisses quite heartily with no sexual connotation…if the same behaviours of non-sexual greetings causes concern when a group of fellows does it versus a group of obviously “not gay” fellows, then it is not the actors but the observers who have a problem. After all, the “act” is no different.

          Summarizing–not all physicality is sex. I agree–no graphic sex exposure for kids. Period.

          That is not the extent of Russia’s law and I suspect you know that. My Russian friends would be subject to prosecution if they acknowledged that my partner and I of 20 years have raised a fine young woman with a great new husband and we all contribute to our society positively (through work, charities, giving back in a million ways).

          I urge you to get to know some gay families, their children, and consider that most often, contrary to heterosexual families, the children are planned for, wanted and loved–not mistakes of timing.

          Sorry for the rant–please aim for an open mind.
          The rhetoric round Russia’s law is ignorant and fear-based, and a profound disgrace.

          • la catholic state

            I certainly wouldn’t introduce the subject to my children. because something exists….doesnt mean you introduce it to children. That includes many many things.

  • CiaranJGoggins

    I have always been a big fan of Cliff Richard, I wonder has he ever performed a concert in Putins Russia?

  • David Prentice

    No, despise is the correct word. I despise them for forcing the closure of the Catholic Adoption Agencies, bringing the prosecution against the Scottish B&B couple – and then squealing in smug triumph when they lost their appeal – increasing the cultural pressure on straight, artistic teens to be “out” and “proud”. When he aims his fire at Western-style political correctness that forces the many to pander to the whims of the entitled, self-pitying few, Putin has a valid point.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      You write about ‘them’ as though a concerted gay conspiracy brought these things about. The Equalities Act 2006 was not passed because of gay pressure – the gay bits of the bill were added by Lord Alli. It was the charity commissioners who closed the adoption agencies, and just one couple who took the B&B owners to court.

    • Fred Scuttle

      Nobody forced the closure of adoption agencies. Rather than comply with the law they closed themselves. The same is true of the B&B owners.

  • Watt_A_Pryke

    Speaking as a gay man I feel like crying when I hear these stories of how my gay brothers and sisters suffer in so many countries just because they viewed as queers and oddities.
    Every day I say thank god I live in a country where the Prime minister understands how gay people feel.

    • JD

      Indeed…a caring heart breaks at such suffering. The self-justifying “I’m alright, Jack” mentality abounds, but the heart and spirit are stronger.

  • Chris

    In the space of one year, I have gone from not giving a flying f*ck about gay people – to wishing you would all be deported to Iran.

    and if I have to see one more gay article on the BBC, or one more gay couple on TV I will snap and burn Brighton to the ground.

  • igor.s

    I wonder which part of the sentence : homosexuals should leave children alone , the author object to… ?

  • shmup

    The harsh reality is that Western pressure has had absolutely no effect, the Olympics will go ahead and Russia is no closer to reversing this law. If and when it does, it will be on its own terms. Yet despite this obvious failure the author of this article preaches about how disastrous this has been for Putin and how we should expect this Olympics to have some kind of 1968 black power salute moment. Even if such a thing happened , consider how this would look in Russia, nobody would care, just like they don’t care about Pussy Riot. Likewise, nobody in Russia knows who Stephen Fry is and nor do they care if he wants to boycott the Olympics. We are deluded if we think that we can influence Putin. I think it’s about time that we stopped trying to interfere in the affairs of foreign countries.

  • Mag1C

    Fuckin America whats next ya’ll gonna make heterosexualism illegal and push more homos LOOOOL wow U.S is the fag capitol of the world u should be proud.

  • http://www.GGGAAAYYY.com/ Sam Judie

    Yeah………being GAY is certainly NOT a choice! I have had ‘tendencies’ since age 4! OMG! At just 4 years old? You are practically still a Baby! My Favorite Quote is by Charles Peirce in 1980 ……. It’s better to be black than gay because when you’re black you don’t have to tell your mother. ………check out our NEW WEBSITE – http://www.GGGAAAYYY.com

  • American

    people not showing up and nothing at all to do with gays.. you people are full of yourselves!

  • sue

    The media as usual is making too much of this. It is their country and they are free to run it as they see fit. Obama doesn’t rule the world and doesn’t even do a good job or running USA. JUst because he has no moral compass doesn’t mean every leader has to follow . Putin actually gets higher marks from his people than O gets from his people. Weather a leader supports or doesn’t support gays would not stop me from going somewhere I wanted to go. It won’t kill me one way or the other.Terrorism now that is a different story. The pretense that stadiums, concert centers, malls , air planes, trains and so so many other places are safe in US is so laughable. Even our schools and movie theaters aren’t safe. so Russia is no different than us in that aspect.
    then there is the remark that Putin supports Syria well let me tell you O supports some pretty mean countries with both our money, weapons , and his/their idealogy.

  • Bert

    There are billions of people in the world who are sick and tired of the small minority of naval gazers who continue to make EVERYTHING about sexual orientation. The gay movement has used up any goodwill it might have had. This author has an agenda. He reveals it in his last paragraph. Bravo to Russia for standing for something, and shame on this little twit for (as usual) making it all about himself.

  • MrJones

    The telly media != the people, as is becoming more and more obvious.

  • Ian Mikyska

    Just a quick note: the comment under the picture makes it seem that Stravinsky was also homosexual, which was not the case.

  • Ivan Radisic

    Such a stupid and ignorant article.

    Considering that Russia is suffering attacks by Muslim madmen who slaughter children in schools, a rapidly declining population, a alcohol pandemic that shortens the average life expectancy to 51 years and poverty, gays not being aloud to shake their asses to children during their parades is the least of their issues.

    Putin in reality is a very effective president, during his years in office Russian economy skyrocketed to heights it has not seen in a very long time, if ever. International trade increased by 250% (!!!) Even the birthrate is starting to stabilize, but much work is still needed.

    The problem here is that we are slaves to the media, which is a slave to Obama, who was recently humiliated by Putin who prevented him from bombing Syria into the stone age and now needs to save face.

  • TeezUp
  • TeezUp
  • Guest

    This link is very relevant to the topic and interesting reading for people who believe themselves to be progressive. Putin should have made the law to protect children from all forms of sexual propaganda. I don’t think children should be sexualized but maybe homosexual men think differently or are dismayed ate the perceived inequality.
    http://www.frc.org/issueanalysis/homosexuality-and-child-sexual-abuse

  • Hairyhoudini

    This link is very relevant to the topic and interesting reading for
    people who believe themselves to be progressive. Putin should have made
    the law to protect children from all forms of sexual propaganda. I don’t
    think children should be sexualized but maybe homosexual men think
    differently or are dismayed at the perceived inequality.
    http://www.frc.org/issueanalysis/homosexuality-and-child-sexual-abuse

  • Pete Walk

    I have a new headline after reading through all the comments “SPECTATOR: JAMES KIRCHICK THINKS FOLLOWERS HAVE HIS BACK WHILE 95% INSULT HIM AND THE GAY AGENDA”

    What a pathetic, bitter and utterly unfactual piece of “news”.

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