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W.H. Press Secretary Grilled on U.S. Position on Russia's Anti-Gay Laws, Olympic Boycott: VIDEO

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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was grilled today on Russia and its anti-gay laws by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl. Karl asked him whether President Obama directly condemned Russia's law against "homosexual propaganda", the Washington Blade reports.

"Yes," Carney replied.

Added Carney: "The president absolutely opposes and has made clear in other countries laws that discriminate against individuals, whether for race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation....What I think the president made clear the other night is that it is in Russia’s interest to ensure that the Olympics are a success. And that’s certainly true of other host countries when they have the privilege of hosting an Olympics. And he would expect them to take the necessary measures to ensure their success.”

Carney said he did not know whether the administration engaged in direct talks with Russia over the anti-gay law, and said talk of a boycott is "a conversation we're not having."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Way to go, Jonathan Karl. That was a nice grilling.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 9, 2013 12:07:27 PM


  2. Very good. Let's keep this in the forefront and keep hammering away until we either boycott the Olympics or can force the IOC to strip Russia of the privilege of hosting and yank it out of their country and back to Canada or any other country that has previously hosted the same Olympics.

    If we don't keep hounding in this manner nothing is going to be done to protect gay people in Russia despite Russia's assurances. Russia would be greatly humiliated if the Olympics were ripped out from under them and would lead to the loss as Host of the upcoming World Games.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 9, 2013 12:21:01 PM


  3. So the White House doesn't know what the State Department is doing? Um...okay.

    Posted by: jomicur | Aug 9, 2013 12:24:31 PM


  4. so we will condemn it, but do nothing to try to oppose it. Thanks for nothing.

    Posted by: graphicjack | Aug 9, 2013 2:19:49 PM


  5. Honestly, as much as I would love to see the Olympics relocated from Sochi. I'm dubious as if it will actually happen.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Aug 9, 2013 2:20:25 PM


  6. Bravo Jonathan Karl!
    He was 100% on message and was both aware of the importance of specific language of condemnation and dogged enough to ask again to get a clear statement that President Obama condemns the Russian anti-gay laws.

    This is what we've been working for and what we need to hear from other international heads of state and the UN.

    Russian anti gay laws and treatment of it's LGBT citizens is in clear violation of not only their own constitution but is also in violation of the UN human rights charter which their constitution endorses and which they commit to as members.

    US Ambassador Samantha Power and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon have been contacted about statements of condemnation but have yet to respond.

    Calling on UK PM Cameron to step up. Become the leader in the exporting of LGBT human rights equality you proposed by calling on Russia to respect and protect the rights and lives of it's LGBT citizens.

    Posted by: JONES | Aug 9, 2013 2:31:24 PM


  7. In case you didn't now, Karl has become the favored stenographer (formerly a reporter) of the right wing establishment.

    His grilling of Carney was not intended to further discussion of gay rights, except as a cudgel for the right wing to beat up the POTUS and WH.

    Posted by: dw | Aug 9, 2013 2:41:10 PM


  8. The Canadian government has been much more outspoken in its condemnation of the Russian anti-gay law. Their foreign minister even tried to influence his Russian counterpart before the law was passed. The Obama administration appears to be much more concerned that a US dissident was not extradited by the Russians.

    Posted by: AG | Aug 9, 2013 2:42:59 PM


  9. @DW
    Are you a paid Dem hack or a volunteer?

    Posted by: AG | Aug 9, 2013 2:49:19 PM


  10. @DW
    Regardless of his affiliation or intent the questions Karl asked were needed.

    If anyone in the right wing thinks that using language of condemnation against human rights violations is an appropriate attack on the POTUS that's their problem.

    I'm pretty sure Obama/Dems can stand up to that.

    Posted by: JONES | Aug 9, 2013 3:16:09 PM


  11. The real President just spoke. He said that he looks forward to a gay winning a Silver or Gold in the Russian Olympics. The Olympics are happening. Find a new cause.

    Posted by: GB | Aug 9, 2013 3:51:22 PM


  12. Boycotting or moving the Olympics is logistically impossible at this point, and any effort to do so would cause far more of an international incident than Russia's policies or actions toward gays. About 180 countries participate in the Olympics, and at least half don't much care about or even oppose gay rights. That's why Putin keeps pushing homosexuality as a "Western" influence; it hardly gets discussed outside the US, Canada, and Western Europe, and even then it's not like it's embraced by all Americans, Canadians, or Western Europeans.

    In short, Obama doesn't control the Olympics. I'm not saying that people shouldn't exert as much pressure as possible on Russia, but I am saying that you shouldn't be too surprised if it doesn't care. Worldwide, there's a lot more support for antigay views than pro-gay ones.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 9, 2013 6:47:44 PM


  13. Despite what Towleroad trolls and internet nay-sayers might anonymously say, seemingly with impunity, I will continue, from today, being August 9, 2013, until the start of the Putin Hitlerian Olympics of 2014, to demand of humane democracy-residing human beings, that they demand with a vociferous and united voice to call upon all peoples who have the freedom to defend their fellow citizens who are LGBT to scream to the high heavens that the 1936 Hitlerian Olympics will not be repeated in the 21st century by a despot named Putin, who wishes to absurdly "distinguish" post-Soviet and post-Czarist Russia from the West by intimidating, beating, maiming and murdering LGBT Russians and visitors to Russia under the cover of inhumane laws voted into law with the complicity of many Russian voters in a failing "democracy” but also with the "holy" sanction of a medieval Roman Catholic Orthodox Church that "blesses” its priests and associated minions to seek out LGBT folks and berate them, beat them, maim them, and even kill them while the Russian Police look on as if a mere schoolyard fight were taking place. Given that level of malevolent inaction, can you begin to imagine how a real schoolyard attack on LGBT children would be a bloody beat down without repercussions for the young thugs being egged on by the Church and State to decimate the Russian LGBT children and adults?

    Posted by: Thomas Cardellino | Aug 10, 2013 12:55:30 AM


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