"Welcome to the return of concentration camps," said Harvey Fierstein in his Huffington Post op-ed comparing Russia's newly enacted law banning the LGBT propaganda towards minors with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. His rhetoric, though not without honest justification, merely parroted the words of Stephen Fry who, back in August 2013, highlighted the dramatic, albeit hysterical, similarities between Hitler's Germany hosting the 1936 Berlin Olympics and Putin's Russia hosting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
"An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 in Sochi is simply essential," said Fry. His sentiment was later echoed by Fierstein and hundreds more in the LGBT rights movement. President Obama, in his ever-increasing love affair with demagoguery, excluded himself from the opening ceremonies, paving the way for leaders in Great Britain, France, and Germany to follow his lead.
Google and The Huffington Post joined right in, coloring their logos to mimic the LGBT flag, only to be outdone by German athletes who paraded into the opening ceremony wearing rainbow colored uniforms. Actor Hugh Laurie chimed in as well, using Twitter to libel Russia as useless. With all the rallying cries from the international community on "human rights" and "free speech," you'd think the reincarnation of South African apartheid had descended on Mother Russia.
Quite simply, this is all ludicrous nonsense drummed up by the left-wing elite to push a politically correct narrative of the "persecuted gay" to guilt religious opponents of same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms into believing their principles are part of the same homophobic sentiment. Yes, Russia certainly has a severely miserable record of anti-gay bigotry deserving of condemnation, and by all means, protest the fascist law, but don't stand on the graves of over 6-million murdered Jews and seek to sabotage the hard work of thousands of athletes in the process.
Just to clear the air, lets get to the actual "facts" on Russia's controversial law. First, it is not "one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet." Unlike India and Nigeria, Russia has no legal ban on homosexuality according to Mark Bennetts of The Guardian who stated:
To date, over six months since the law came into force, fewer than a dozen people have been fined for "gay propaganda". Not a single person has been jailed. Russian police do not have powers to detain people they suspect of simply being gay or lesbian, as a New York Times leader erroneously stated last year. If this were so, then how do we explain the fact that gay clubs are able to advertise and operate in Moscow and other big cities?
And, no, gay people are not, as Fry claims, being beaten to death "while police stand idly by". If this were the case, would police in Volgograd have arrested and charged three men with murder last year over what investigators called a homophobic hate crime? Would the men who carried out a brutal homophobic killing in the east of Russia this month have been sent to penal colonies? Would the thug who attacked a gay rights activist for unfurling a rainbow flag during an Olympic torch relay in central Russia have been sentenced to corrective labour? The authorities should and must be far more vigilant in punishing perpetrators of hate crimes, but these are hardly the hallmarks of a campaign of state-sponsored terror.
The left feels perfectly at home condemning U.S. ties with Russia, but feels nothing of the sort when Barack Obama negotiates with Iran or allies with Saudi Arabia, where being gay can get you hung.
In 2008, when China hosted the Summer games, Barack Obama and John McCain only grandstanded a little in protest of China's blatantly poor record of human rights, but they were relatively isolated and it certainly didn't make for good "politics" for pro-choice Democrats to speak out against China's epidemic of forced abortions and infanticide.
Brazil's Rio de Janeiro will open its doors to the international community come 2016. Will those claiming the moral high-ground now call for the same boycotts over Brazil's reputation of having the worst records of police violence and summary executions or the widespread abuse of government power with agrarian human rights violations? If it makes for good politics...sure!
In the meantime, I echo the well-informed political adage, "don't throw bricks when you live in a glass house."