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Coffee House

The Olympian smugness of the anti-Sochi gay protests

7 February 2014

6:32 PM

7 February 2014

6:32 PM

Now look, as Tony Blair would say, homophobia is bad. Very bad. But does that mean we have to turn the Sochi Winter Olympics into a sort of global gay pride event, simply because Russia has passed a not very pleasant law against teaching children about homosexuality? Apparently it does. Every right-thinking hack on earth, it seems, has expressed their disgust at Putin’s bigotry. Politicians are also desperate to let on, though they can’t say so publicly, that they really don’t approve of Russia. And Progressive media companies are using the opening of the Games today to show off their moral superiority to those backward Russians. Google has turned its logo into a rainbow. The Guardian has done the same to the G on their online masthead. Channel 4 is having a gay pride jamboree. Not to be outdone, The New Statesman has rainbowed their Twitter handle. We can expect plenty more such displays over the coming weeks.

All right all right — we get it. We are more tolerant than them. We accept others, unlike those Russian pigs. We don’t oppress people because of their sexuality. We celebrate it. Hurrah for us. But is this all really a true expression solidarity with those poor gay and lesbian sods in Russia? Or is it just a chance for everyone to show off how tolerant and great we are? We all know deep down it’s the latter, but we pretend otherwise. It’s all so smug and boring and fake.

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