Russia’s anti-gay laws cast a shadow over 2014 Winter Olympics
Jennifer Zhao In six months, Russia will host the Winter Olympics. However, worldwide outrage over Russia’s anti-gay legislation is threatening to overshadow the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Earlier this month, Russian Parliament passed a law saying that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested. High profile figures including U.S president Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have criticised Moscow’s ever increasing anti-gay posture. Mr. Obama says the anti-gay bills violate a human being’s “basic morality”. The sad truth is that Russia is not alone. Many countries, such as Iran, Uganda and Jamaica, have preceded Russia in singling out LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people. Many athletes in Russia for the World Athletics Championships have expressed their rage and disgust by crossing hands on the podiums and painting their fingernail in rainbow colours for a subtle, yet strong, statement in favour of gay rights, while British comedian and gay Stephen Fry is leading the call for a boycott of the Winter Olympics. Outweighed by arguments against Anti-Gay Laws, there are still some sections of society which are in favour, believing that the legislation helps to prevent school children from ‘inappropriate’ exposure to homosexual lifestyles. Jennifer Zhao is a reporter for Panorama and SYN News, and a translator at NAATI. Currently studying journalism in RMIT, she enjoys the occasional bike ride down Beach Road.