The American Kennel Club has called on the FCI to move the World Dog Show from Russia where it is scheduled to take place in 2016, because of Russia's human rights abuses against gay people.
Here's the letter, via DogChannel.com:
One of the most compelling aspects of the human-canine bond – cherished internationally more than ever before – is the fact that our dogs love us unconditionally. Dogs do not discriminate. Gender, race, sexual orientation and other status do not enter the equation of responsible pet ownership. That is why the American Kennel Club and our constituency are puzzled and disappointed by the decision to allow Russia to host the 2016 World Dog Show. The proliferation of anti-gay and lesbian laws in Russia today is both disturbing and shocking to our community. The choice of this country as a venue for such a prestigious dog show flies in the face of the ideals of the human-canine bond.
On behalf of the American Kennel Club, our member clubs, and the American purebred dog fancy, we urge you to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia to a nation that respects and upholds human rights for all its citizens. The international dog community deserves to enjoy the World Dog Show in a place that stands for freedom and equal rights for all. AKC cannot and will not support participation in the 2016 World Dog Show if it is held in Russia.
As exhibitors, breeders, handlers and trainers, we teach our dogs many things. But there is no denying, they teach us too. Our bond with dogs is not defined by the type of person who holds the leash. We cannot support competition in an environment where tolerance does not exist.
Alan T. Kalter (pictured)
Chairman of the Board
Dennis B. Sprung
President and CEO
Allan Reznik, the Editor-in-Chief of Dog Channel, also announced that a scheduled feature on Russia for its November 2016 issue would be pulled:
A boycott of the Olympic Games is being called for and with the World Dog Show scheduled for Moscow in 2016 the FCI is facing pressure to change its venue unless these violations of basic human rights are rescinded. AKC President Dennis Sprung and Chairman Alan Kalter issued a courageous statement protesting Russian President Putin’s anti-gay law.
We have many gay breeders, exhibitors, handlers and judges proudly participating in our sport worldwide. In light of Russia’s violation of these basic human rights, and given the strides that have been made recently in the USA with respect to equal rights, DOMA defeat, etc., we at Dogs in Review feel it would be inappropriate to feature Russia in our November International Issue. We are not feeling particularly celebratory toward that country. Moreover, we urge our American judges with invitations to officiate in Russia to reconsider their assignments, at a time when visitors traveling there could be arrested and detained, with the blessing of the Russian government.
When boyfriends Jeremy Mark and David Beltier of Beverton, Oregon took their two-year-old poodle on a walk last March, they ended up becoming victims of a hate crime:
The victim said he was walking with his boyfriend in the crosswalk when someone pulled up next to them and started yelling homophobic slurs, while also making fun of their dog named Beauty.
… Beltier said the man then got out of his SUV and started punching him in the face. The suspect then went back to his car and emerged with a foot-long metal wrench.
The man hit Beltier in the back of the head with the wrench.
The victim was not cut open or badly hurt, according to police. He did suffer a bump to the back of his head.
The victims said the attacker then got back into his SUV and sped away.
"He was saying your poodle is a weird color and that's just un-American and F-you, you f--- and shouting," said (Mark).
Luckily, other drivers saw the attack and took down the SUV owner's license plate number, resulting in the arrest of 23-year-old George Mason Jr..
Mason now faces federal hate crime charges, and his wife has snagged a criminal charge as well:
His wife, Saraya Gardner, was charged with obstructing justice. Federal officials said she lied about Mason's whereabouts to Hillsboro officers, and then further misled them when she repeatedly changed her story about the weapon used to strike the victim. She now faces prison time.
In addition to the hate crime charge, Mason was also charged with second-degree intimidation, second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and reckless driving.
Watch news footage about the attack, AFTER THE JUMP…
'Best in Show' at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night was Banana Joe, a monkey-faced Affenpinscher who beat out a Portuguese water dog, a Sheepdog, a Bichon Frise, an American foxhound, a fox terrier, and a wirehaired Pointer.
Last night's win was his first at Westminster, though he has won 86 other shows. He's now retiring, the NYT reports.
Watch ABC News' report on the win as well as his appearance on Anderson Live,
AFTER THE JUMP...
Watch the first preview for In The Land of Blood & Honey, the Bosnian war pic written and directed by Angelina Jolie, AFTER THE JUMP...
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Generation X is sick of Generation Y's grousing:
... Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even sh**tier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being f***ed over. It lost its meager savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis.
Generation X wasn't surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.
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Rihanna departs hotel clutching an "X-rated lesbian bondage manual" ...
... after she dropps over £1,000 in a Parisian S&M shop.
This dog has a seeing eye dog. They both need a home.
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Australian progress: Acting Premier Andrew Fraser discusses the future of marriage equality in Queensland.
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Irish lesbian wedding, deferred by impenetrable legalese.
Rosie O'Donnell isn't worried about horrible ratings.
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Attorneys! Please refrain from bringing meth to court! Thanks!
Some American Idols top charts.
Some American Idols lose their record labels.
Hitchens: Qaddafi should have lived.
Hey, dog lovers! Hickory, a Scottish Deerhound, won Best in Show last night at the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It is the first time this breed has ever won.
Watch the crowd go wild, AFTER THE JUMP...