Now Reading
Gay rights are being treated as a fashion while Sochi athletes let us down

Gay rights are being treated as a fashion while Sochi athletes let us down

Despite the setbacks we have seen in recent months, I’m sad to have to report that activism for LGBTI rights remains very much a ‘fashion’ statement and vehicle to get media attention for oneself.

The Winter Olympics Games at Sochi remains at the forefront of the gay media’s reports and tops the concern of western advocates, despite the fact that just over a month ago Nigeria introduced its anti-gay bill and it was reported this weekend Uganda is to follow suit.

I find this disheartening and have to ask why?

Do not think for a moment that I am unsympathetic about the plight of Russian LGBTIs and the homophobia and ordeals they endure.

However in the hysteria we seem to forget that in Russia it is not illegal to be gay and it is the anti propaganda laws that need challenging.

The same applies to Sochi2014 – the corporate sponsors are the ones that need to be made to justify their hypocritical stand on sponsoring the event whilst pretending to be gay friendly.

This applies also as well to lesbian, gay and bi athletes and those portraying themselves as allies for equality for. Not a single competitor has raised a rainbow flag on Sochi’s slopes nor has any sign of solidarity been made on the medal podium.

Shamefully they have remained silent.

Austrian skier Daniela Iraschko-Stolz summed up the athlete’s apparent general attitude: ‘I think everything is being blown up bigger than it is… I don’t want to talk too much about it.’

Thus perhaps it is time for us to dispense with the notion that sportsmen and women are role models, as in reality they are masterpieces of cowardice and selfishness.

But as the world concentrates on ‘fashionable’ Russia they are ignoring the plight, once again, of other nations’ LGBTIs, for whom being gay is illegal.

India’s recriminalization is all but forgotten as is the fact that Bangladesh refused to decriminalize homosexuality – two countries with several tens of millions of LGBTI people.

Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, also known as the ‘Jail All The Gays’ law signed into law by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in January and remains unchallenged by the west.

The most draconian new anti-gay legislation in the world for years which bans gay and lesbian marriage, outlaws anyone from forming organizations supporting LGBTI rights, and sets up prison terms of up to 14 years. But it certainly did not get the same attention Russia is receiving.

Over the weekend GSN reported that the Uganda president is to sign his country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.

Ugandan President Museveni stated that he is ready to face the backlash of western powers over the contentious law that he has promised to assent to and that he is ready to go back to the trenches in the jungles of Luweero ‘to fight the homosexuality lobby group’.

Museveni once again said his decision was informed by a team of scientists who dismissed claims that homosexuality is caused by genetic disorder.

The western advocates are again silent and the credentials of these ‘14 medical experts’ remains unchallenged by them, as all I see is pleas for monies to help ‘evacuate’ Ugandans to safety.

We must collectively voice our condemnation against all governments who deny rights to fellow homosexuals, and lobby not only those responsible but our own governments to make a stand against injustices and intolerance.

Clear and decisive action and condemnation of the introduction of Nigeria’s law and that proposed by Uganda must be made, and a clear policy made in regards to asylum.

The UN promises of a free and equal world for gays must have meaning and not just be hollow words, for governments to ignore.

Unfortunately the advocates have had their demonstrations to no avail, they have done their funding drives and had their minutes of fame so will now move on to the newest fashionable cause.

But all this does not change the situation in these countries.

We are not second-class citizens. And LGBTs are not entitled to human rights because of a gene but because we are human.

All LGBTIs are equally important and need protecting – something most western advocates have forgotten.