You might have come across this hot topic over the summer. Russia’s president Putin signed this year a number of laws limiting the rights of homosexuals in the country. The international response was quick. People throughout the world were shocked to learn that only 6 months before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games – which are still to this day supposed to be hosted by Russia – a law would be signed authorizing the arrest of anyone suspected of ‘non-traditional sexual affiliations’. The article above is Stephen Fry’s response to the indifference of the International Olympic commitee.
I find it particularly interesting that Fry compares this event to the Olympic Games of 1936, which took place in Berlin. Under Hitler’s administration, the world was invited to admire the ‘greatness’ of the Third Reich. As we all know, under the shining facade, Jews were persecuted and killed. Fry, as both a Jew and a homosexual, is the perfect person to defend the argument that all should be free to be, and that the mistakes of the past are not to be repeated.
Sports in general have always played a huge part in politics. More than kicking a ball, jumping a stick, having a splash in the water, international sporting events are a political tool to gather the masses and send a message. It is paramount to remember what message: one of peace and acceptance.
This makes me question: to what extent should the government have the power to interfere with personal beliefs? To what extend should the people have the right to have their own beliefs, considering that some of those might be seen as wrong or evil?
If you are wondering what the details of Putin’s laws are, here is a well-made NYTimes article:
Bonus Features: my popcorned Big Think Video about emotion!