A new law in Russia prohibiting homosexual “propaganda” has many wondering how LGBT athletes will be treated in the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The recently passed law prohibits people from portraying any “non-traditional” relationships as normal or attractive. It also prevents people from telling minors that homosexual people exist.
While some people may judge Russia for passing a law like this, it brings up the question about how tolerant we are here at Andover High.
A straight freshman, Daniel Bailey said that he believes that Andover High is very tolerant when it comes to homosexuality. He does admit however that he has heard homosexual slurs. “Well,” he said, “I have heard a lot of people say, ‘That’s so gay.’”
When told about the law, Bailey disagreed with it, but stated that LGBT athletes should not boycott the games, because “it’s too important.”
Mr. Hopkins, a history teacher at Andover High, agrees with Bailey, but for different reasons. “I’ve seen groups try to use the Olympic Games as leverage,” Hopkins said, “but it doesn’t work.”
Hopkins also believes that people are very tolerant at Andover High, but admits he has a limited viewpoint. He also said, “Whether it’s tolerance or self-censorship, I don’t know.”
Ms. Mitchell, the assistant adviser of the Gay Straight Alliance, added, “Compared to when I was in high school, times are more tolerant.”
Hopkins also questioned “if a policy was enacted locally [persecuting LGBT people], would straight people stand up for LGBT rights. That would be the true test of acceptance.”
When Ms. Mitchell was asked about the possible boycott, she had mixed feelings. She said, “If it is an effective way to advocate, it needs to be entertained.”
Russia has even tried to change history by claiming that Pyotr Tchaikovsky, a famous composer, was not homosexual, something that many historians have proven various times.
Although the law prevents homosexual propaganda, there is confusion relating to how LGBT athletes will be treated. While the International Olympic Committee believes that the laws will not pose a problem, some people are concerned that LGBT athletes will be persecuted.
With the Olympic Games approaching rapidly, LGBT athletes can only hope that Russia keeps it word.
By Sam Bird