Two female Russian athletes kiss on the podium after taking the gold.

Earlier this summer at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, Nick Symmonds defied the Russians by dedicating his 800m silver medal to LGBT people in protest of Russia’s anti-gay laws.  Yesterday two female Russian athletes, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova, shared a kiss on the podium after winning the gold in the 4×400 relay.

Russian sources are saying the kiss was congratulatory, not to protest the laws.  In a country so hostile to homosexuality though, I find that hard to believe.

Said Vitaly Mutko, the Russian sports minister:

“I think this is kind of an invented problem,” he said. “We don’t have a law banning non-traditional sexual relations, we have a different law.

“It is the informational protection of the young generation. We want to prevent the young generation, whose psyche has not been formulated.

“We want to protect them against drunkenness, drugs and non-traditional sexual relations. We want them to grow up and when they become adults they have to define what they want.”

One can only wonder, then, why the law only prohibits talking to young people about homosexuality and not about straight sex.  Wouldn’t that be putting a particular kind of attraction into the minds of young people?

What’s more, to compare loving another man/woman (or even just plain ol’ sex with them) to drugs and drunkenness in terms of how they might harm someone is ludicrous beyond words.  It is the very core of what it means to be anti-gay.  If “traditional” sexual relations (which a cursory study of human sexuality will reveal to be not very traditional) are ok, then same-sex relations are also ok.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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