German President Joachim Gauck has announced he will not be attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi because of Russia’s numerous violations of human rights, particularly its infamous law banning gay “propaganda.”
Gauck is a former Lutheran pastor who has been vocally critical of Russia’s “deficit of rule of law” and “air of imperialism” since the country passed its nationwide ban on so-called gay propaganda, and continues to violently oppress dissent — even passing a law earlier this year that makes it illegal to insult the feelings of a religious person.
The Guardian reports that Gauck is the first major political figure to publicly boycott the Sochi Olympics, while also noting that German chancellor Angela Merkel — the acting head of German government whose position is equivalent to that of a prime minister — has ruled out a boycott, agreeing with British Prime Minister David Cameron that the country’s embattled LGBT population would be better served by the presence of supportive political figures, rather than their absence.
We’re getting closer to the Olympics every day, and things are going to keep getting messier if we can’t solve this nonsense. Get your act together, Russia.