John Morrison: Think critically about gay Olympic athletes


I was not surprised at the Dec. 20 Rob Douglas commentary slamming President Barack Obama for appointing openly gay delegates to the U.S. delegation for the 2014 Olympics.

Anyone who has read his diatribes knows that he will grasp any opportunity to slam Obama. This also appears to be the penchant of this paper’s new editorial board. What is disappointing is the consistent lack of critical analysis that pervades the conservative specious brew that is persistently served by this paper.

The Olympic delegation issue is not a matter of “sexual identity politics” as Douglas argues. It is clearly, first and foremost, a civil liberty issue. Based on Douglas’s view, if this were the 1930s — no Catholic, black or Jew (or other non-Aryan) would qualify for appointment as a U.S. delegate to the Olympics in Germany. But then again Obama would not have been president.

Welcome to the new order, Douglas. Bigotry of any kind, regardless of its object, is reprehensible and should be challenged wherever and whenever possible — even by presidential appointment.

John W. Morrison

Steamboat Springs


mark hartless 3 years, 3 months ago

"...the consistent lack of critical analysis...", said the kettle...


mark hartless 3 years, 3 months ago

If Obama couldn't have been President in 1930 it would have been. in no small part, due to the overwhelming number of southern Democrats that were, at that moment in American history, members of the KKK.


Thomss Steele 3 years, 3 months ago

Mark great comment... It is always convienent for a political sect to selectively forget the past to try helplessly to make their point.


Fred Duckels 3 years, 3 months ago

John, It is only natural that the president and his motives be questioned after we see the aftermath of his many promises where the end justifies the means.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, yeah the Republican Party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt was once the party of civil rights. Then the Republicans decided to accept the southern white bigots unhappy with LBJ's civil rights agenda.

It is a perfectly reasonable move to send great athletes that are also gay in response to Russia's laws that not only ban homosexuality, it bans basic speech rights by prohibiting "homosexual propaganda".

It is also sadly no surprise that so many Republicans are so quick to defend bigots as a freedom of religion and freedom of speech right. Even though there was no explanation of how either right was being violated by other people pointing out that the remarks were bigoted and stupid.


mark hartless 3 years, 3 months ago

Standing up to Russia against their hatred of homosexuals, hmmm?

How does Iran treat homosexuals, and what did Obama just do for them??? Funny!

The late senator Robert Byrd (1917-2010) was embraced and defended by the Democrat party, and a top LEADER of that party till the day he died.

As a US Senator he filibustered AGAINST the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

He was not only a member of the Klu Klux Klan, but a recruiter for them and the leader of his local chapter.

He left the organization only when it became pollitically expedient for him to do so.

Want something a little more recent? David Duke, Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan ran for President as a DEMOCRAT in the 1988 DEMOCRATIC Presidential primaries. He switched his affiliation to Republican the following year.

So, Scott, there were Democrat party ties to the KKK as recently as 1988 with David Duke and as recently as the late 2000's with Byrd!

Methinks there are a lot of Democrats living in glass houses and wearing very, very dark sunglasses.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

The Democrats welcomed reformed bigots such as George Wallace and Robert Byrd whom learned the errors of their ways and later worked for civil rights. It was the Republican Party that accepted once Democratic Strom Thurmond whom never said his earlier segregationist policies were wrong.

David Duke ran as a Democrat, but the Democratic Party never supported or defended him. He never won a primary as a Democrat. David Duke later won a seat in the legislature as a Republican.


mark hartless 3 years, 3 months ago

Which government do you hear me defending, Pat? Iran? Russia? Certainly not. I'm simply pointing out broad and over-arching inconsistencies of our own flawed leadership (all around) to those who would presume that such flaws reside only (or even pre-dominantly) in one particular party or doctrine.

Worse than the fact that America sticks it's nose in the worlds business is that it does so in a highly selective, unbalanced, prujudicial, and seemingly inexplicable manner. Overreacting to a percieved injustice in on nation today and totally indifferent to the exact same situation somewhere else tomorrow. We are a nation who's foreign policy seems impaired with a severe case of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Confounds many.


Ken Collins 3 years, 3 months ago

I repeat my thoughts that I had on Rob's article itself. Why isn't it possible for our US delegation to have members of the LGBT community just because the % of such folks is the norm in America everywhere? Why must there be a political/moral agenda on everything? King, Boitano and the others happen to be world famous athletes and good human beings. Why do we label them with any extra tag? A King interview I saw, had her against any boycott. She wants the US there to show support for the Russian athletes and people who are for human rights, whatever they be. Sounds like a great representative for America to me. Why do people turn this into a Dem v. Rep? It's more of a human rights v. oppression. Let's drop the slamming. Let's go to Sochi and bring back some medals and good memories.


Carole Cohen 3 years, 3 months ago

I admire John Morrison and his courage to take on Rob Douglas. Our Steamboat Pilot and Today has blatantly become so opinionated to the right and led by Rob Douglas who is paid to promote bigotry. What ever happened to the fair and balanced newspaper we used to love?


Tim Keenan 3 years, 3 months ago

I think this had more to do with the fact that Obama is still smarting over Putin giving asylum to Snowden. This was Obama's chance to stick it to him, get kudos from most Americans (including me) and highlight Russia's ridiculous laws. Win-win-win for Obama.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

The US is hardly alone in being upset at Putin's human rights policies. France and Germany whom have appreciated Snowden's NSA leaks are also breaking tradition by not sending their leaders to the opening games. The USA has the unique opportunity to send someone of Billie Jean King's prestige that is also openly gay. She isn't just a great champion of tennis, but she transformed sports by forming the WTA that made the sport's organizing committee controlled by the players instead of the tournaments. And she gave women's sport far more credibility when she crushed Bobby Riggs.

And we also have famous winter Olympians that are openly gay.

The selection of the US delegation was obviously affected by political considerations. It is a clear statement that great champions include gays and anti-gay anti-speech laws in Russia are morally wrong.


mark hartless 3 years, 2 months ago

"... and we have gay winter olympians, and gay summer olympians, and gay meter readers, and gay garbage collectors, and gay this, and gay that and, well, we're just as gay as we can be..."

Tripping all over yourselves to be gay while sucking up to Iran, a nation that cuts homosexual's throats...

Cant make this stuff up.

The US is more alone than most Americans realize.


Fred Duckels 3 years, 2 months ago

The alternative life style bunch is getting much attention in recent years due to it's value as a political pawn. Today it helps to turn attention from the imploding Obamacare experiment and the hypocrites fleeing that sinking ship.


Thomss Steele 3 years, 2 months ago

How does someone's sexual orientation fit in with the Olympics. I want to see highly trained athletes compete... Period! What you do behind doors is no concern of mine. Must the gay and lesbian community flaunt their sexual preferences and agenda EVERYWHERE?


Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Russia crossed the line of basic human rights by passing laws that not only ban homosexual activity, but ban publicly supporting homosexuals. Banning speech on political issues is pretty extreme and oppressive. It changes the issue from the political of what may be called the "homosexual agenda" to the basic civil rights of freedom of speech on political issues.

Athletes may care about human rights and thus be reluctant to participate in a highly publicized competition in an oppressive totalitarian country. They may wish to use the publicity of their participation to show they do not support the host country's oppressive laws.


jerry carlton 3 years, 2 months ago

And the United States is definitely responsible to police the "basic rights" of Russia, China, Afganistan, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, etc. ad nausem. A very large part of the reason WHY THE COUNTRY IS BANKRUPT.


john bailey 3 years, 2 months ago

sure we are , Jerry, why we got tons o money. just ask them.....


John Fielding 3 years, 2 months ago

The choice of who one shares sexual relations with is not critical to the Olympics, but how far down this road is the declaration of sexual identity to be accepted as whatever the athlete says they are? I foresee creation of an additional category of "transgendered" added to the current "mens" and "womens".


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