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04/19/2007


Here's Video of Bisexual Gold Medalist Speedskater Ireen Wüst 'Cuddling' Vladimir Putin: WATCH

Putin_wust

Yesterday, activist group Queer Nation came down hard on Dutch gold medalist speedskater Ireen Wüst after she gave an interview to Dutch media and expressed excitement about "cuddling" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Said Wüst:

"I got a cuddle from him. He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him."

Wrote Queer Nation's Duncan Osborne in a press release:

“The Olympic athletes have said that they will not make political statements during the Games yet that is exactly what Ireen Wust did. By embracing Vladimir Putin, a man who has trampled on the human rights of LGBT Russians, political dissidents, artists, undocumented immigrants, and others in Russia, Wust has endorsed his fascist agenda....LGBT Russians and political dissidents are showing us what courage and commitment look like. Embracing Vladimir Putin is a betrayal of that courage and commitment. Wust should be ashamed of herself. Every athlete in Sochi should understand that the whole world is watching. We cannot make the athletes show the sort of courage that LGBT Russians display, but we will not be silent and we will not forget if the athletes embrace Putin.”

Now, video has emerged of Wüst's 'cuddle' with the Russian leader.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Here's Video of Bisexual Gold Medalist Speedskater Ireen Wüst 'Cuddling' Vladimir Putin: WATCH" »


Queer Nation Splashes Olympic Flag with Blood Outside Russian Consulate in NYC: VIDEO

QN4TowleRoad1

More than 100 members of LGBT activist group Queer Nation demonstrated in front of the Russian consulate in New York City at noon yesterday, including three people wearing Putin masks who dumped fake blood on the Olympic flag to underscore the IOC's complicity with the Russian government.

The group reports, via press release:

QN4TowleRoad3"We've focused on the IOC and how holding the Olympics in Sochi goes against everything in its charter," said Queer Nation member Ken Kidd, referring to past Queer Nation protests. "We've focused on NBC and major Olympic sponsors like Coke and McDonalds, who pay lip service to equality while profiting from inequality and ignoring Putin's human rights atrocities. Now we're once again laying our message right on Putin's doorstep. The whole world is watching -- literally. Putin can't hide his pogrom behind the sports page."

Among the protesters were gay Russians who have fled Russia and are seeking asylum in the U.S., members of RUSA LGBT, an organization of gay and lesbian Russian expatriates, students from Queens College, and members of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village. They chanted "Queer rights are human rights!" and "Gay bashing is not an Olympic sport!"; held "Putin heads" on sticks; and carried anti-Putin signs in both English and Russian.

The protest is the latest in a series of high-profile protests launched by Queer Nation dating to July 2013. They include December 12 actions at two NBC employee Christmas parties and earlier confrontations with Moscow government officials at meetings promoting U.S. investment in Russia. The group has also targeted supporters of Putin performing at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall as well as "Russia Day" at the New York Stock Exchange.

Queer Nation has also targeted corporate sponsors of the Olympics, most notably Coca-Cola and McDonalds, through pointed, successful social media campaigns, including appropriating McDonalds' #CheersToSochi Twitter hash tag.

"The Russian government is on notice that the start of the Olympics is not the end of this fight," said Scott Wooledge, another Queer Nation member. "Overturning these laws and ensuring the rights of LGBT Russians is the only way for Putin to begin to repair that damage to his reputation on the world stage the passage of these laws has done."

Watch video of protesters pouring blood on the Olympic flag, AFTER THE JUMP...

Blood

Continue reading "Queer Nation Splashes Olympic Flag with Blood Outside Russian Consulate in NYC: VIDEO" »


Queer Nation To Protest Outside New York Russian Consulate During Opening Ceremonies

Queer Nation Homophobic Olympics

Queer Nation has issued a press release calling for a protest outside the Russian consulate in New York City to take place at noon this Friday, timed to line up with the opening ceremonies for the Sochi Olympics.

"'Vladimir Putin,' Russia’s president, will appear at the protest outside the Russian consulate at 9 E. 91st in Manhattan, where he is expected to desecrate an Olympic flag," the group writes.

You can read the press release in full AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Queer Nation To Protest Outside New York Russian Consulate During Opening Ceremonies" »


Queer Nation's Sochi Coca-Cola Ad: VIDEO

Sochicocacola

Queer Nation is not letting up on the silence of the sponsors of the Sochi Games regarding Russia's anti-gay law. Here's the group's latest piece of 'LGBT propaganda'.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Queer Nation's Sochi Coca-Cola Ad: VIDEO" »


Queer Nation Disrupts Brian Boitano Appearance, Demands Skater Speak Out Against Russia

The activist group Queer Nation reports, via press release, that it disrupted an appearance by figure skater Brian Boitano last night. Boitano recently dame out of the closet after being selected by President Obama as part of the official U.S. delegation to the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

BoitanoQueer Nation writes:

Two members of Queer Nation confronted three-time Olympian Brian Boitano tonight, demanding he speak out against Russia’s recently enacted anti-LGBT laws when he represents the U.S. at the Olympics next month.

Boitano, who is one of three openly gay men and women chosen by President Barack Obama for the U.S. Olympic delegation, was appearing at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea as part of “Brainwave: Mind Over Matter,” an ongoing series that pairs men and women prominent in their various professions with psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists to discuss how the mind and brain work.

During his introduction of Boitano, Tim McHenry, the Rubin’s director of public programs and performance, spoke with admiration about how Brian Boitano had become “a courageous champion of human rights and artists.”

"When did he do that and what is it that he said?" shouted Duncan Osborne, one of the protesters. "He's going to a country with a record of abusing human rights, especially the rights of gay men and women, and he has yet to speak out about it,” Osborne continued.

Boitano has as yet said nothing against Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, instead insisting that athletes and spectators respect the laws of the country they will be visiting. Tennis great Billie Jean King, who has also been chosen to represent the U.S. in Sochi, has been somewhat vocal about her disapproval of the Russian laws.

“Stand up and tell us what you are going to do what are you going to say in Russia,” yelled Jamie Bauer,” the other protester from Queer Nation. Boitano remained seated and silent and refused to acknowledge the protesters.

“Two members of Pussy Riot were imprisoned for protesting their government’s human rights record, and when they were granted amnesty ahead of the Olympics promptly denounced the amnesty and organized a protest,” said Bauer after the protest. “We haven't seen nearly that kind of courage from Brian Boitano, who has much less to risk.”

The audience was uniformly hostile to the protesters, and many booed. Two audience members attempted to remove Osborne but backed away when he threatened to have them arrested. The two Queer Nationals were eventually led peacefully out of the room by security guards.

“You’re a coward,” Osborne yelled repeatedly as he was escorted away.

No pictures or footage of the confrontation have surfaced yet.


NBC Hit With Protests for Ignoring Gays in Russia in Lead-Up to Sochi Winter Olympics: VIDEO

Weir_nbc

Queer Nation protested outside NBC's Sports Department holiday party outside a restaurant on East 30th street in NYC yesterday. The banner was sewn by Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag.

Earlier in the day, the group hit the Today show holiday party.

Pogrom Nbc_wtf
The group explained its actions in a press release:

Charging that NBC is misinforming its viewers about the dire circumstances of LGBT Russians ahead of its broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia, LGBT activists will demand that NBC tell the truth about Russia and its anti-LGBT laws.

“NBC has dispatched Olympic commentator Johnny Weir and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, two openly gay men, to soft-pedal the Russian government’s anti-LGBT bigotry,” said Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation NY, an LGBT rights group. “LGBT Russians have been vilified, assaulted, tortured, murdered, and fired from their jobs by the Russian government and by Russian thugs. It’s past time for NBC to report the facts about Russia.”

NBC, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the broadcast rights for the Sochi Olympics, said in a Dec. 3 statement, "As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law.” The following events have transpired since then; NBC has reported on none of them:

- Dec. 5: New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli asks 10 Olympic sponsors to oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 6: At his Moscow concert, Elton John condemns Russia's anti-LGBT laws.
- Dec. 8: German President Joachim Gauck declares he will boycott the Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Dec. 10: European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding says she will boycott Olympics over Russian human rights violations.
- Violence against LGBT Russian continues unabated and Russian government does nothing.

Weir and Roberts cover the Olympics for NBC. Roberts hosted the Nov. 9 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow and broadcast on NBC; in Moscow, he made comments that minimized the harm of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws. Weir, who also works for the Russian consulate in New York City, has consistently praised Russia and defended one of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws at a recent appearance at Barnard College.

A story on Americablog revealed yesterday that Weir's bio claimed that he worked for the Russian consulate, a detail that was scrubbed immediately after the story came out.

The scrubbing was followed by a statement from Weir and his publicist saying that the figure skater had never worked for the Russian government.

Weir also tweeted: "I have never worked at or for a Russian consulate. I don't know where people get this stuff. XO"

Queer Nation also released a video yesterday, Olympic Jive, highlighting the Russian anti-gay laws and denouncing the IOC and its sponsors for standing by and doing nothing.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NBC Hit With Protests for Ignoring Gays in Russia in Lead-Up to Sochi Winter Olympics: VIDEO" »


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