There has been a lot of discussion in Canada recently concerning Canada's participation in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. This is due to laws that were passed in Russia which prohibit the distribution of literature or participating in events which promote tolerance and acceptance of gays and lesbians. Violators could face hefty fine or prison sentences. I would argue the purpose of the law is to enshrine the right to remain ignorant and intolerant of marginalized populations and criminalize alternative points of view.
As a gay person myself, I must admit that the calls for a boycott were appealing at first. What better way for a country to make a political statement about human rights than refusing to participate and showing our moral concerns to a watching world? How could we turn a blind eye to laws that stifled freedom of speech and enlightenment. Having thought it over, I don't think a boycott of the Olympics by the athletes is the answer. This is not to say that we should turn our backs on laws that legalize and promote hatred but there are better forums to address it, particularl
I heard one gay athlete state that a boycott would only punish the athletes themselves and not make a significant impact on Russian laws. I initially disagreed with that assessment and saw it as a self-serving argument. After all, in any struggle for human rights, sacrifices must be made for the greater good, for example, the civil rights movement. I just don't believe however that the boycotting of a single event will make a significant shift in the country's way of thinking and , furthermore, the issue itself will only get buried at the beginning of the opening ceremonies, regardless of the number of countries participating. There's also the likelihood that a backlash will occur against the gay population in Russia, inciting even more hatred.