Rachel Maddow talks gay discrimination in Russia while Russia’s Human Rights commissioner refutes its existence


Rachel Maddow stopped by for a visit with David Letterman on the CBS “Late Night” show, and ever-so-cleverly spoke her opinion on whether or not trouble lurked at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.

Video below.

“As a gay person, I’d be ‘safe’ in jail,” Maddow told him, garnering lots of cheer.

Prior to the discussion of Russia, Maddow talked about the latest developments in the Governor Chris Christie scandal before moving on to briefly cover the Olympic-related terrorism threats and anti-LGBT sentiment in Russia. Maddow told the “Late Night” host that the Olympics would probably be the safest place in the world (unless you’re gay), as the Russians and Americans have collaborated seriously to assure security.

Letterman went on to inquire about the reactions to Russia’s discrimination against gays. “Should there have been a more active, aggressive boycott, or—pardon the expression—stink, about their views on gay rights and human rights in Russia?” he asked. “I was hoping that everybody would pull out, that everybody would say, ‘No, this is not right. This is medieval times, we’re not going.’” 

Maddow responded that “the people who have made that case have made a very articulate case. It is embarrassing, I’m sure, for the big corporate sponsors of the Olympics to see their logos on the jackets of the Olympic security people who are wrestling the gay rights protestors to the ground at the torch relay. It’s humiliating, and they’ve got to figure out some way to distance themselves from that part of it.”

Near the end of the interview, Maddow asked pointedly, “When we’re gone, what happens then?”

The Voice of Russia reported on January 24 that one of the country’s Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative for Human Rights completely disagrees, even condemning the rumors of gay discrimination in Russia.

“There are some incidents, but incidents happen everywhere,” Konstantin Dolgav told the Voice in a five-paragraph explanation about the speech he’d given. Dolgov “was given just three minutes” to counter the “misinterpretation” of the human rights situation in Russia , since some news sites are clearly confused.

Nice to know the world was merely imagining all of those videos of the violent anti-gay attacks that saturated mainstream media over the summer. The gays in Russia can go back to proudly announcing their sexuality and are free to openly be who they want to be, and to kiss who they want to kiss. Oh, wait.

Yet Dolgov still claims “there is absolutely no discrimination of LGBT community in Russia as such.”


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