At the Olympics athletes from all over the world to compete in sports and to unite everyone in watching an event, but this Olympics has a twist to it. Controversy on LGBT rights exploded prior to this year's Sochi Winter Olympics has a twist to it. LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Before the Olympics started, debates already began to form. Russia's laws degrade LGBT rights and opened a human rights debate. These laws sparked many LGBT communities to protest against them. This occurrence didn't just happen in America, but globally. There are many reports of the LGBT communities protesting against these anti-gay laws. According to the AP, “a coalition of 40 human-rights and gay-rights groups from the U.S., Western Europe and Russia – including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Campaign – released an open letter to the 10 biggest Olympic sponsors, urging them to denounce the law and run ads promoting equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people” (Crary) From the report, it seems that there has been lots of groups against Russia's anti-gay law, but will it be enough? Russia doesn't allow much freedom to the people to begin with. The government has forcefully taken control of the country. Some of the sponsors were trying to repel the anti-gay laws, but only managed to have Russia stop discrimination toward athletes and spectators, who are at the Olympics. The only reason why they stop discrimination toward the LGBT is because some athletes and spectators support the LGBT. Russia's government doesn't want to change their laws for Russians, but is willing to make some exceptions toward foreigners. Despite the help internationally, Russia continues with their anti-gay laws and also plans to add more laws.
This years Olympics has two main politicians debating on the LGBT laws: Russia's Presidents Putin and the United States pf America's President Obama. Putin has expanded anti-gay laws by 2
banning “pro-gay propaganda.” According to Article 6.13.1, in the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, “ Propaganda of homosexualism among minors- is punishable by administrative fine for citizens in the amount of four thousand to five thousand rubles, for officials-forty thousand to fifty thousand; for legal entities – four hundred thousand to five hundred thousand rubles,” (Code of the Russian). While Obama on the other hand argues that these anti-gay laws are denying a human of their civil rights. Obama said on August 6, 2013 in the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, “ I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”(Obama) Obama believes Russia has refused to give LGBT people their human rights. They are not treated as humans beings, but rather a different species. This political debate has affected many countries that are still undecided on what laws they should enforce with the LGBT communities in their own country.
This research paper first focuses on Russia. It includes their anti-gay laws, how long has Russians had this view, and why do they have this particular view. I am interested in the different reactions Russia will present when it comes to the LGBT community. Then the paper will focus on the international response to the anti-gay laws. This paper will also examine different reactions between the community and the Olympic athletes. Next it focuses on how is America getting involved, America's laws on the LGBT communities. Lastly, it will focus on how it might affect other countries, like China. The main question is how is homophobia is different or similar in Russia, the U.S, and China?
Before I start trying to find an answer to my central research question, I would like to look at Russia's laws about the LGBT. I decided to look at Russia first because it is the host country for this year's Winter Olympics...
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