Wheeee, the Olympics! A fun exciting adventure that brings out the very best in the human spirit! Come to Sochi and see all that Russia has to offer! Just please do not look over there at what’s happening to those gay people.
You will not doubt be SHOCKED to learn that Russian officials are continuing their abuse of gay and lesbian citizens. The latest victim isn’t even gay, and isn’t even a person: it’s a newspaper that had the audacity to report that gay people exist.
The story begins with the firing of Alexander Yermoshkin, a geography teacher who was fired for being gay. That’s outrage enough, whether it’s happening in Russia or America.
(Putin, for his part, has said “the rights of people with nontraditional orientation are infringed upon neither in terms of profession nor salary level,” which is about as observably false as a lie can be.)
But it gets worse: one of the newspapers that reported on his firing has been threatened with massive fines and closures of three months, just for reporting the facts of the case. A state propaganda official accused the paper of the usual garbage: harming children, promoting a lifestyle, etc etc.
To their credit, the newspaper is fighting back. That always goes over well in a totalitarian state.
So, let’s see. We have gays and lesbians violently assaulted, harassed out of their jobs, and their very existence censored by the state. Sure, let’s invite the world to pop by for a visit. What could possibly go wrong?