Queerty is better as a member
Our spectators and people WILL be safe. Fagburn has spoken everyone, this is a complete fabrication by evil gay multinational commun1stsoci@listnazispossibly or something.
Russia – one of the world’s problem children for a few hundred years and counting.
Get ready for the Olympics, something tells me there is going to be major problems.
Somehow I think there may be a bit more back story to this incident.
@macmantoo: I agree. If the Russian government cannot (will not?) protect a diplomat, how safe can the athletes truly be? Of course, I’m sure the IOC will say these two issues are not related.
“It’s nothing. Children on their way to school. Mischievous children. Nothing more, I assure you.” Familiar, anyone?
Why is it that we (Mainstream and LGBT-specific media)are so quick to call out other nations for their gay bashing where the victim is savagely beaten and severely injured or killed but when it happens here in the US it gets buried in the media (if mentioned at all)???
If one searches Google News using the right terms, you will be shocked to see how often anti-gay violence occurs here in the US (Spoiler Alert: Almost daily) and how unspeakably brutal so many of the attacks are (I can think of a handful of examples of anti-gay violence that has happened in the US this year that the victim died as a result of the injuries).
I’m all for ending anti-gay violence (and violence in general) everywhere; but how about we start here in the US and highlight the countless attacks here the same way the paltry number of attacks in Russia get sensationalized.
Also, before we go after Russia; I think the members of our LGBT family in Saudi Arabia would really appreciate it if we directed our outrage at Saudi Arabia where being gay is a crime punishable by death — that’s right, in 2013 Saudi Arabia if you commit a homosexual act you win a late-late term abortion of your life. Maybe ending that barbaric punishment for love is something we might all support by directing our outrage at and boycotting products produced in Saudi Arabia?
@FitChicago: Could not agree with you more. But don’t be too harsh on Saudi Arabia. Yes, that is the law, but if they actually enforced it half the men in the country – including the royal family – would be in prison.
@scott747: thanks for your nice post.
While I stand by my targeting of Saudi Arabia’s late-term abortion policy for non-celibate gay men who express their love for one another; I should have also included the inhumane anti-LGBT laws of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and the UAE.
For a nation that only supplies the US with 13% of our oil, Saudi Arabia certainly gets a free pass on their human rights practices but when other nations make a minor human rights infraction they have to face the full force of outrage that exemplifies the long, storied history of US hypocrisy.
Recently the collective voices of outrage seem to focus on nothing but the fights they can win instead of focusing on the fights worth winning. When a gay man is killed by his government simply because he is gay, we collectively remain silent… hell we don’t even raise our voices against those countries who allow such a law to exist. For every Russian or Scottish gay man who faces anti-gay violence and the media showcases/exploits so we all collectively send them our love and support; there are one or more gay men here in the US who faced the same level of anti-gay attack but we turn a blind eye and that victim does not receive the mass love and support; and, more importantly awareness is not raised and solutions to such problems are not focused on.
@FitChicago: I get what you’re saying, but I think your view is a bit romantic. There is no serious question that Saudi Arabia and its tyrants in arms in the Middle East brutalize gays and lesbians every day. There is, similarly, no serious question of awareness: we are all painfully aware of how gays and lesbians are treated and spoken about in most of the world (I’m not sure why you think there’s a problem of awareness). And yet, it would be beyond illogical and even counterproductive for any other state to lodge gay rights grievances with the Saudi government or say that of Zimbabwe. Their people, gay and straight alike, lack basic freedoms that are taken for granted in even the most restrictive of free societies – a meaningful, fruitful discussion of gay rights with their governments would be about as helpful as telling Longhsanks that anti-Semitism is wrong. Our diplomatic efforts are better spent ensuring that those countries begin to respect basic human rights and political freedoms, and indeed the rule of law itself. Only then can we start meaningfully talking about the treatment of sexual minorities.
Perhaps we criticize Russia so much because it sells itself as a generally free, democratic society that respects human rights and the rule of law, whereas Saudi Arabia and many of the other countries you mentioned couldn’t even pretend to do that. I’m okay with that. In fact, I think you’re right about one thing: we need to report more on anti-gay violence in the United States and challenge our leaders to stop giving a free pass to countries that don’t respect human rights. That’s the purpose of media in a free society as far as I’m concerned: challenge power. We don’t really do it particularly well here in the United States considering our usual course of action: prop up despots and warlords just so long as they give us oil, cheap labor, or military support.
@FitChicago: I also should add that part of what makes this so newsworthy is that it was a diplomatic incident that is harmful to the entire international community.
@jwrappaport: thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking reply.
In order to help clarify my previous comments, I’m going to deconstruct your insightful reply because I think you will see that we are pretty much on the same page and that my previous post was poorly written and failed to communicate that.
REGARDING SAUDI ARABIA: LAWS & AWARENESS
I consider myself to be “well informed” about news & issues impacting our community locally, domestically and globally; I don’t expect friends, family, loved one’s to be as tuned in as myself and many Queerty readers.
I share that because you wrote “we are all painfully aware of how gays and lesbians are treated and spoken about in most of the world”. Over the last month in countless conversations I’ve made it a point to, when appropriate, share the knowledge of the Saudi Arabian gay death penalty. Sadly almost everyone I mentioned it to were NOT aware of the barbaric Saudi Arabian anti-gay laws.
On Demands & Diplomacy:
You wrote “it would be beyond illogical and even counterproductive for any other state to lodge gay rights grievances with the Saudi government or say that of Zimbabwe.”
Since the end of WWII and the subsequent creation of the United Nations the international community has been effective both diplomatically and, to a lesser extent, militarily to aid in the correction of a nation’s unjust, inhumane violations of human rights. Most recently the international community not only intervened diplomatically to stop the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Syrian civil war, but the unified voice of the world community convinced Syria to join the UN Chemical Weapons Convention (Nations NOT members of the OPCW: Israel, N Korea, Myanmar, Egypt, Angola, S Sudan).
Perhaps instead of giving Saudi Arabia carte blanche, the international community should demand reform (or at least try)… As TR said “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
I’d urge everyone to read Russian Federal Law N 135 – FZ “Amendments to Article 5 of the Federal Law “On Protection of children from information harmful to their health and development, “and some legislative acts of the Russian Federation in order to protect children from information that promotes the denial of traditional family values.” and/or has not viewed the legislation inserted into the context of both the Russian Federation Federal Law and Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offenses. I mention this because reading the source material is critically important to understand the law. It may be worse than you think or may not be as bad; only reading the docs can answer that. If anyone needs a copy of all the source material related to the law, I’m happy to share it with you; let me know.
On the Media:
You wrote: “That’s the purpose of media in a free society as far as I’m concerned: challenge power.” As a former journalist I could not agree more in theory but strongly disagree in today’s society (yes, there are some media outlets that credibly live up to your ideal but they are few and very far between). One trend that becomes more apparent each day is that a news story can become THE news story if it’s somewhere that news cameras can easily access but if the same event/scenario occurs somewhere a news crew cannot access it within an hour then you’re likely to never hear about it or just hear about it in passing.
I Couldn’t Agree More With Your Statement:
“We don’t really do it particularly well here in the United States considering our usual course of action: prop up despots and warlords just so long as they give us oil, cheap labor, or military support.”
I might add that America is #1 when it comes to: the number of incarcerated citizens per capita AND the number of adults who believe angels are real. No one does hypocrisy better than America; we’re the undisputed champion for over 50 years.
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