Equalities / LGBT / Politics / Religion / Sport

Putin’s Law

Putin

With the introduction of a vaguely worded law in Russia banning the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality to minors (i.e. the very mention of it will attract a sliding scale of fines and repeated violations may result in a stint in the clink), the chattering classes have called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea Coast. The idea is to give Tsar Putin and his Russian Orthodox cabal a good kick up the arse. I can’t see it amounting to much. After all, the soccer World Cup circus will be coming to town in Qatar in 2022, a gulf state with a less than sparkling record on human rights of any kind and we seem happy to do brisk business with a host of nasty little regimes around the globe. Let not conscience get in the way of the beautiful game or making a few shillings. The new Russian Law is similar in word and intent to the much-hated Section 28, enacted by the Thatcher Government in 1988 and only abolished in 2003 (now being reintroduced through the back door in some self-governing schools – along with creationism, no doubt). Section 28 was a vicious little side swipe from the Iron Lady’s handbag, tossed in to appease the swivel-eyed loons out in the shires. It was largely ineffectual in the real world and I’m hoping against hope that punitive Putin’s decree will go the same way. But then, Russia isn’t Britain.

pink triangleSo what can be done? I have huge admiration for the two Swedish athletes, Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer, who painted their nails the colours of the rainbow while competing at this year’s World Athletics Championship in Moscow. It was a subtle rebuke but still caused quite a brouhaha. Nice one, ladies. How about Winter Olympians displaying the pink triangle (on their nails, a fake tattoo on their hands, whatever)? Personally, I think this would send a more powerful and historically resonant message. The pink triangle was the badge that gay people wore on their ragged uniforms in the death camps before the Nazis herded them into the gas chambers (just as Jews wore the Star of David and other ‘enemies’ of the state had their own emblems). Simple, effective and very televisual. Just a thought.

26 thoughts on “Putin’s Law

  1. . . there’s a need for a radically different world in more areas than any of us can think about let alone pay heed to. Single issues, if they have any effect, is limited and reversable – it’s the whole bloody system that has to go!

  2. Just love the Putin pic with the rainbow hitler moustache…the pink triangle theme too and wouldn’t an entire country’s team in pink triangle t-shirts be a great dream to hope for! Rose coloured glasses maybe but who knows…

    • We can all dream. I suspect, in reality Olympic rules will stop even the smallest gesture. The Putin picture was put on Facebook with a request to share it. I couldn’t resist.

  3. I read Stephen Fry’s open letter to David Cameron and deeply sympathized… But I think your pink triangle suggestion may be a better one. A boycott isn’t going to happen anyway… But we can still get the message out! I’ve downloaded the Putin picture and posted it on my “LGBT Rights” board on Pinterest, which you might care to take a look at… http://pinterest.com/petchary/lgbt-rights/

    • I have a great respect for Stephen Fry but I’m generally against boycotts. It all gets very tit for tat and achieves little. I think embarrassment can be more effective. Make ‘em look silly, I say. I’m following your Pinterest LGBT page. Way to go!

  4. I see two pictures here, of Putin. A rainbow mustache and a Hitler style one. I wonder if I’m reading too much into it but this seems to say it all.

    What can everyone else do. Darned if I know the answer, although your suggestion sends a message without blood.

  5. The world seems to have grown a lot of little Hitlers recently and they have been allowed to flourish through the silence of the peoples lack of objections. Germany learnt a lesson (supposedly), is it time now for the rest of us to do so ?

    • Oh yes, The Nazis were fond of sticking badges on the undesirables they intended to exterminate. Jews, gypsies, political dissidents, gay people, etc – each had their own. If you happen to be gay and Jewish, you wore a a badge that was half pink triangle and half yellow Star of David. If it weren’t so tragic it would be darkly comical.

  6. I wonder what else we’ll see before the end of the games. You’ll have to update here because I can’t see as much of them as I’d like (which kinda means most of it).

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