Obama Says He Has 'No Patience' for Any Country's Homophobia

Illustration for article titled Obama Says He Has 'No Patience' for Any Country's Homophobia

Of course, in this instance, he's talking about Russia and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi. The country's sports minister reneged on their promise to welcome gay athletes and fans and is vowing to enforce the ridiculous law that outlaws "gay propaganda". Most. un-fun. (And terrifying.) Winter. Olympics. Ever.


“I think Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work and they understand that most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently,” Obama said.

Here's more of what he had to say about the situation:

“I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in a way that intimidate them or are harmful to them,” Obama responded [to Leno], while stressing that “Russia is not unique,” and noting he’s had to balance his pressure over laws like these within larger relationships with several African nations as well.

Obama told Leno he believed that the laws would not be an issue by the time the Winter Olympics start in Sochi next year, and urged Russia to ensure the games remain about the performances of the athletes, not about their sexual orientation. He said he believed that there is enough riding on the games to make that happen.

He better be right because I need my figure skating like, well, I vaguely need something that happens every four years. Which is to say: VERY MUCH SO/I could live without it. (Unless Surya Bonaly is doing some sort of exhibition, and then I'll walk through fire and ice and homophobes to get there!.)

The President also spoke on Trayvon Martin:


And took the opportunity to explain (yet again) what's happening with healthcare on Oct 1.:





Yes, Russia is a caldron of homophobia and tribalism but let's be clear here: America only cares, like it almost always does about the rights of minorities, because it's in its own interest to care. Remember: Laura Bush really cared about women's rights in Afghanistan on September 12, 2001 just as Obama suddenly decided to take a hardline on gay rights in Russia since Snowden took refuge there.

The following Russian administrative sanctions passed anti-gay laws over the past few years (many of which were literally copy and pasted on the current nationaly law) and no one in America gave a shit.

Now, all of the sudden America is indignant about the human rights of gays in Russia. The State Department has leaked the story to media outlets, the White House has targeted the messaging to middle brow echo chambers like Leno, and now we're all draped in rainbow flags. Forgive me if I don't think all of the human rights outrage is a bit too convenient and, more importantly, a bit too late.