Daily Buzz: Russia's equality issue

BY foxsports • August 2, 2013

Hosting the Olympics has a way of exposing a country's problems. When Beijing hosted them in 2012, for example, the whole world became familiar with China's industrial smog.

Well, Russia is hosting the Winter Olympics in 2014 and, in case you didn't know, Russia still doesn't have free speech.

It's true. Russia doesn't have free speech.

The specific kind of speech Russia is trying to save its people from hearing is anything related to gay rights or, as the Russians call it, "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."

The Russians have a law against that and, according to president Vladimir Putin, they plan on enforcing it during the Olympics. Basically, they fine you or put you in jail for expressing homosexual propaganda at a public rally, on the Internet, in the news media, etc.

If anybody knows anything about propaganda, it's Russia.

Luckily, I live in a place where I can, within reason, speak my mind without fear of retribution from my government. Americans haven't always been so open-minded about gay rights, but we're evolving. And at least we’re allowed to talk it out.

Naturally, people are looking for ways to protest this Russian law without breaking it. According to the Associated Press, some are calling for a ban on Russian vodka in North America, an idea so idiotic it’s difficult to believe someone actually said it out loud. You can’t defeat draconianism with more draconianism.

Boycotts are not the most effective protest device, but a boycott does seem like a more sensible and realistic means of personal expression that won’t break a law against personal expression. But the real brass ring here is that in 2014, with the Internet, Russian citizens are going to get an earful about this from around the world, whether Putin wants them to or not.


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