An organization that previously reported state officials in Massachusetts gave children graphic instructions in bizarre homosexual sex acts now says “gay” activists are planning to disrupt the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia, where public promotion of homosexuality is banned.
MassResistance.com reports LGBT activist Patrick Burke addressed a meeting of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association regarding the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7-23.
In a seminar titled “Out on the Playing Field,” Burke said: “We’re going to have three weeks of sustained media presence there. We are going to have out LGBT athletes there. We are going to have very vocal and visible allies there. We’ve spoken with the Canadian and U.S. hockey teams. We’re going to be doing work with both of those teams.”
He said the “frustrating part” is that he cannot talk publicly about his strategies yet, “because if you talk about it publicly, the Russians don’t let you in the country.”
He said there are plans by the Russians to confiscate rainbow flags “if you try and bring them in your regular luggage.”
“They’ve said they’ll confiscate pins. We are talking about utilizing diplomatic channels to get things into the country,” he said. “There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that will frustrate people because it won’t be made public until you see an athlete on a medal stand or at closing ceremonies .”
Burke said planners are preparing for backlash.
“One is government. Where a journalist or athlete whoever it might be, is arrested or is, you know, fined, is deported. Not that anyone wants to stay in Russia if the Olympics are over. That’s certainly the type of backlash that we’re concerned about,” he said.
“The second is non-governmental groups. We looked into securing a pride house in Sochi. One of my very good friends basically runs the Continental Hockey League and he knows every Russian billionaire out there. We said what would it take to get a pride house? He said he’d ‘need security.’ Well yeah, get some security guards. He said ‘no, someone would shoot it up.’ He said ‘you would need ex-KGB to secure it. You guys can’t afford that.’ Well probably not. So there’s concern on my end about non-governmental groups taking matters into their own hands. ”
Burke said he doesn’t expect arrests and fines, but he does expect an athlete will be expelled from Russia.
“I think you’re going to see, someone waves a rainbow flag on the podium; you go right from the podium to an airplane. You get sent home.”
Listen to Burke’s comments, recorded by MassResistance:
Burke is co-founder of the You Can Play Project, which purports to work to "end homophobia in sports."
Russia's parliament has beened the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations" to minors.
"The Russian government has made it clear that the ban also covers participants and attendees of the 2014 Olympics," MassResistance said in its report.
The group said that if "this outrageous stunt is successful, it will be an embarrassment not only to the Russian government – which is working hard to have a clean, wholesome atmosphere for its Olympic games – but certainly to many Americans, given that American corporations, American athletes, and possibly even our government would be involved in this."
MassResistance noted that its founder, Brian Camenker, was invited to the 2001 NLGJA national convention for a panel on "gay bias" in reporting.
"We didn't pull any punches, and needless to say, they've never invited us back," the organization said.