Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Canadian Foreign Minister Denounces Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Law

John Baird
Canada remains outspoken when it comes to denouncing Russia's vile "gay propaganda" law which has given license for violence against gays in that country and raised significant concerns for the safety of foreign gays visiting Russia, especially with the 2014 Winter Games less than two months away.  To date, the International Olympic Committee has done little to guaranty the safety of gay athletes and acted more like the appeaser of Hitler and the Nazi regime 78 years ago in the lead up to the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. Towleroad reports on Canada's condemnation:

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recently mentioned his country's opposition to Russia's "gay propaganda" law in a letter to Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Federation's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Baird wrote:
“In the lead-up to Sochi, Canada remains concerned about the legislation passed in June 2013 that places a ban on the ‘propagandizing of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.'"
“We encourage the Russian Federation to extend to all of its citizens – as well as foreign visitors – full human rights protections, including freedom from violence, harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

Baird also wrote that Canada would appreciate Russia's cooperation in allowing its consulate quick and consistent "access any Canadian citizen, should the need arise.”

In early August, Baird spoke against Russia's law and urged the International Olympic Committee to do more to ensure the safety of everyone attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Canada's city of Vancouver has taken an outspoken role in criticizing Russia's anti-gay law in the run-up to the winter games. Two Canadian winter Olympians marched in protest of the law at Vancouver Pride and the city's openly gay deputy mayor visited Sochi and petitioned the IOC to add an LGBT non-discrimination clause to its charter.

Meanwhile, the French, German and American presidents have all announced plans to skip the games, as has the European Union commissioner and the British Prime Minister (though he contends that his absence has nothing to do with protesting Russia's anti-gay law).

As noted before, I have no intention of watching the 2014 Games and would encourage others to do likewise.  Better yet, boycott advertisers who have put a lust for money ahead of protecting human rights.

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