Comments

  1. Brian says

    Glad to hear this, however we should boycott the Olympic or have them hosted elsewhere.

    By the way the title is misleading. Can be interpreted another way.

  2. Dastius Krazitauc says

    I agree about the headline, Brian. I read it and thought, “What? Obama calls for Olympic boycott??!!”.

  3. northalabama says

    so, the problem is russian law and call for a boycott, not the murders, rapes, beatings, arrests, and fines?

    in what fantasy world is this position on human rights violations acceptable?

  4. bobbyjoe says

    Except if a gay athlete wins, if NBC follows their usual pattern from past Olympics, they’ll hide the fact that athlete is gay.

  5. Rafael says

    For a president who sought change and transparency, Mr. Obama sure has made a complete 180. Very disappointing.

  6. Geoff says

    How is this going to save the Russian LGBT community or other gay athletes and their supporters. Answer? It’s not. FAIL.

  7. mike flower says

    I never expect Obama to advocate anything that would conflict w the profits of the corporations that own him.

  8. Paul R says

    More unfounded bitterness and fantasy thinking, alive and well, along with an apparent lack of reading comprehension skills. Another day in Towleroad comments.

  9. Brian says

    I wonder what Obama would say if Russia introduced laws against blacks. I wonder if he would oppone a boycott in such circumstances.

    From the tone of his comments, it’s obvious that the President thinks little of our rights. He treats us as fund-raising fodder and has failed to walk the walk on fundamental issues related to our rights.

  10. Mundus says

    @BRIAN:

    “From the tone of his comments, it’s obvious that the President thinks little of our rights. He treats us as fund-raising fodder and has failed to walk the walk on fundamental issues related to our rights.”

    While I have some sympathy with this viewpoint, Brian, I cannot agree.

    America cannot, overnight, change the world all by herself. I would dearly love to see the European Union to take even half as robust a stance.

    President Obama, has arguably, done more for LGBT rights than any other Presient in living memory (even if many find his refusal to sign an ENDA-like policy into place with relation to government contracts).

    Given the very many areas of difference with Russia and many other nations he (and Hilary) have probably done as much with ‘soft’ diplomacy as is currently possible. Imagine, for a moment any Republican President (bar possibly Fred Karger) – we would see nothing like this kind of engagement on these issues.

    Yes Obama could possibly do more but he has done a hell of a lot.

  11. Zlick says

    Um, what’s confusing about the headline? Obama addresses Olympics boycott; not Obama approves of Olympics boycott. He addressed it. Did anyone expect him to come out in favor of that? Let’s get out of our gay fantasy world. The Olympics are not going to be moved or boycotted.

    Let’s bring as much attention as possible to this issue, and that track seems to be working. I think, at least in the lead-up to the Olympics, we have a real chance to shine light on what’s going on in Russia. In a way, we should be GLAD the Olympics are in Russia – because once they are over, good luck getting press attention on the gay pogroms.

    And yes, the U.S. deals with lots of countries with anti-gay laws and attitudes. Did Russia invent this, or have we been following such barbarity for many years, in many places?

    By the way, it seems clear to me Obama was talking about Russian gay athletes, as well as American ones. Sure, NBC is likely to conceal the orientation of both. Let’s not let up on getting press, and don’t let up on holding sponsors and broadcasters to some level of responsibility. But, please, give up on getting the Olympics themselves moved or boycotted. That simply Is Not Going To Happen.

  12. El says

    Still, I believe that Brian is right about a more extreme approach in comparing this situation to a fictitious one that the general public could better understand.

    I immediately wondered, too, if he would say the same thing if Russia forbade interracial couples holding hands or publicly exchanging good luck and/or congratulatory kisses at the Olympics (and before and beyond, of course).

    Or like Brian indicated, what if blacks were forbidden to publicly show affection at the games, while whites were free to do so. That’s really the kind of scenario we have to use in comparison, in order for them to understand the magnitude of what this truly means. And what it already means for Russians on a daily basis!

  13. El says

    Still, I believe that Brian is right about a more extreme approach in comparing this situation to a fictitious one that the general public could better understand.

    I immediately wondered, too, if he would say the same thing if Russia forbade interracial couples holding hands or publicly exchanging good luck and/or congratulatory kisses at the Olympics (and before and beyond, of course).

    Or like Brian indicated, what if blacks were forbidden to publicly show affection at the games, while whites were free to do so. That’s really the kind of scenario we have to use in comparison, in order for them to understand the magnitude of what this truly means. And what it already means for Russians on a daily basis!

  14. woodroad34d says

    Is he going to the Olympics? Why doesn’t he say that on Russian soil and see if he gets arrested or a pogrom tries to accost him?

  15. Maguitac says

    Wish this boycott talk could start right HERE at home! Wish the President could more often publicly admonish our local prejudiced homophobic quacks and the majority of the population united move in boycotting those homophobes, before the ones abroad.

    I swear I’ve heard more Republicans in the past few weeks sternly talk of boycotting the Olympics, those same who supported the likes of Michele Bachmann, Dennis Guth, Dave Agema, E.W. Jackson, and see no irony in their actions at all.

  16. sugarrhill says

    Everyone here is acting like there’s no precedent for continuing on with already panned Olympics. The USA went to the Olympics in Berlin during WWII when Jews, Gays, etc. were systematically being rounded up and killed. Imagine what a boycott would’ve looked like if Jesse Owens had not dominated those Olympics?

  17. sugarrhill says

    Everyone here is acting like there’s no precedent for continuing on with already panned Olympics. The USA went to the Olympics in Berlin during WWII when Jews, Gays, etc. were systematically being rounded up and killed. Imagine what a boycott would’ve looked like if Jesse Owens had not dominated those Olympics?

  18. Michel says

    I have never been a fan of the boycott. Make no mistake, if we boycott the games, the show will still go on and Russia will not change its law. The end result is the US looking like a kid throwing temper tantrum and Putin will only look stronger. There are other countries with far worse anti-gay laws(where gay= death sentence) than Russia yet we do business with them. Are we all willing to pay $10/gal for gas? Because that whats going to happen if we boycott African and Mid-east countries with harsh anti-sodomy laws.

    To the other posters comparing this to black plight, it’s easy for forget that Jesse Owens ran in front of Hitler and used his victories to speak out against racism. Gay athletes and our allies have a chance to do the same in the world biggest stage.

  19. Bill says

    My dream is for an openly gay U.S. athlete to win gold in a high profile event, an openly gay athlete from another country (but not Russia) to win silver in that event and for Russia to win bronze and for the two openly gay athletes to look down and give a closed fist salute while the Russian national anthem is playing. Gay power!

  20. emjayay says

    Zlick: Exactly. Complaining about the headline only reveals a lack of reading comprehension. Individuals can certainly boycott these Olympics by not going. Moving the Olympics is a great idea. Also, way too late. Athletes deserve to go.

  21. Dan says

    Mr. Obama also took pains to say he opposes calls to boycott the Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia next year. Those calls have intensified in recent weeks after reports of strict anti-gay laws on the books in Russia.

    “Nobody’s more offended than me by some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation,” Mr. Obama said, but he said the best way to show up those laws would be for gay or lesbian athletes to win medals.
    @washtimes

  22. USC TRojans Fan says

    Why are you guys feeding the conservative trolls who troll on here? Makes zero sense to me.

    Those of us who know Obama is a friend of ours know he is coming from a good place. Behind the black community, LGBT were the second highest demographic to vote for Obama. Ignore the trolls folks.

  23. Duration & Convexity says

    We’re all trying to figure out how to best approach Russian games. All of us as a collective LGBT and LGBT allies community. It’s not an all or nothing. Meaning, it’s not like if we say we’re not boycotting the games means there’s not amazing action that can’t be taken during the games. Some argue that more prominent action can be taken in shedding light on the matter by NOT boycotting. But showing up and consistently speaking on the matter. I’d agree.

  24. Duration & Convexity says

    We’re all trying to figure out how to best approach Russian games. All of us as a collective LGBT and LGBT allies community. It’s not an all or nothing. Meaning, it’s not like if we say we’re not boycotting the games means there’s not amazing action that can’t be taken during the games. Some argue that more prominent action can be taken in shedding light on the matter by NOT boycotting. But showing up and consistently speaking on the matter. I’d agree.

  25. J.J says

    We sniff out trolls like you from a mile away on here. We’re pros at it. You ain’t fooling no one.

  26. Sam says

    This is why I voted third-party in 2012. Obama is an empty suit and Romney was even a worse choice.

  27. JMC says

    An Olympic boycott was obviously never going to happen, and by the time
    activists broke through to the mainstream media it was far too late to have the games moved to Vancouver.. not that anyone involved cares enough about LGBT people for that to have done that anyways.

  28. Matt27 says

    I think more should be done, even though I understand the athletes need to compete and try to fulfill their dreams.
    The problem is the Olympics are being sell to us as sports when in fact it is all about money.

  29. anon says

    Uhm. The Nazis ran the Olympics in 1936. They had started harassing Jewish intellectuals like Einstein by then, but there was no systematic repression. There were no Olympics during WWII.

    The Chinese, who really punish a wide swath of minorities and occupy Tibet got through the Olympics without a pip of protest. In part it’s because they really put the screws on reporters but also because their repression is almost always extra-legal.

  30. Jerry6 says

    I feel sorry for the young men and women who will be competing; knowing that if they step outside the Olympic Village to experience the country that they are visiting, they could be arrested for no reason at all; just because the Russian Police will know who the “Gay” Competitors are.

  31. andrew says

    I totally agree with M. Obama. He is the best friend the LGBT community has ever had in the Oval Office. Right On, Mr. President!!!

  32. Rob says

    I won’t be watching NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympics. Period. I will urge my family and friends to not watch either. If Russia was targeting Islam or Jews, the world would be in an uproar and Pres. Obama would be threatening a boycott and urging the rest of the world to boycott Sochi and urge the IOC to move the Olympics to Vancouver. Write NBC and the IOC. One small act can have huge consequences.