I’d like to share a couple of articles about the ongoing crackdown by Russia’s government on homosexuality. This article summarizes the issues well, detailing the various laws that have been passed. These include a ban on adoption by gay parents and a law allowing police to arrest tourists and hold them for up to two weeks if they suspect them of being either gay or “pro-gay.” And this article discusses the pros and cons of a boycott of the Sochi Olympics, raising the question of whether attending or boycotting would do more for equal rights in Russia. Finally, there is a collection of photographs showing scenes from recent pride parades in Russia. Be advised, some of these are pretty tough to see.
One way to approach this would be from the point of view of Olympic boycotts. Students could look at previous boycotts (or proposed boycotts) and do some research into their causes and effects. Then, they could express their opinions on the USOC’s statement that “History has proven that the only people that are hurt by boycotts are the athletes that have worked their whole lives to participate in these Games.” Of course, this could be broadened into a look at the underlying purpose of the Olympic Games or at boycotts as a means of encouraging reform.