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IOC Official: Terrorism Only an Issue Because No One Cares About Anti-Gay Law

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Jan 29, 2014
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 Riot police detain gay rights activists during their rally in St. Petersburg, Russia
Riot police detain gay rights activists during their rally in St. Petersburg, Russia  (Source:Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press)

A Canadian official from the International Olympic Committee says the concern over terrorist activities at the upcoming Sochi Olympics is the result of the media losing interest in Russia’s highly controversial anti-gay laws.

"Nobody has got anything else to write about and for some reason as they have sort of moved away from the anti-gay stuff -- I think it’s not drawing the kind of attention that they wanted," Dick Pound told Canada’s Metro News.

Pound said other countries have "far harsher laws" regarding homosexuals than Russia and little is written on that.

"In Malaysia, you can be put to death. In Nigeria, you can be put in jail for God knows how long," Pound told Metro News. "So it’s a target of convenience with respect to Russia, not that I approve of the law, but putting it on a scale of 1-10 of odious laws, it’s not way up there near 10."

Pound said much of the anti-Russia gay stand emanates from the U.S., where only a handful of states allow same-sex marriage. (Seventeen states currently allow legal gay marriage).

"So whose ox is getting gored here?" Pound said.

In August the CBC reported that Pound criticized Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, but said that calls for a boycott of the Olympic Games were misplaced.

"I think it’s a shame that in this day and age such a law has been adopted," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "But I do not think that is a reason for the entire world to refrain from going to the Olympics, and those who urge that are being very free with the sacrifice of other people in their own interest."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2014-01-30 03:01:47

    This year, I won’t watch the Games, just like I would not have watched them when they happened in Nazi Germany. It is a matter of respect for the Russian LGBT community. (I am European.)


  • DerekJA, 2014-01-30 06:13:35

    I’m right with you on that. I’m not watching 1 second of it nor listening to 1 second of news about it. I’m also not buying any products advertised or supporting this bullshit. My 1 little stand won’t really have ny impact to anyone. But it’s my personal stand to take.


  • Anonymous, 2014-01-30 17:58:55

    His name really is Dick Pound?!?! seriously though, I’m getting very pissed with these str8s deciding that homophobic laws are not a big deal. Even if there were only 2 gays in the entire world they should still be entitled to equal rights with str8s, nothing less! The real damage of the so called anti propaganda laws in Russia is that they cause great harm to society as a whole. Rather than protect children these laws cruelly impact young gays


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