Should Canada pressure Russia to change their anti-gay law?

by pauloairoldi on February 12, 2014 - 3:35am

By:Paul-Olivier Airoldi

Fo Niemi the author of Challenging Russia’s anti-gay law in the Montreal Gazette  shows that in order for our Canadian athletes and Canadian people attending the Sochi 2014 winter Olympic games to be secure not only Canada but Quebec must step up to advance the fight for human rights. He mentions that in order to pressure Russia Canada can use the fact that Canada exports for 1.5billion dollars to Russia every year. Fo Niemi also mentions the law in which should be challenged which imposes fines on people that put out information to minors that is directed at the forming of non-traditional sexual setup which is anything that is not heterosexuality or information that distorts the understanding of such youth that gay and heterosexual relations are socially equivalent . This law without a doubt violates basic human rights according to the author and that this is a perfect time for Canada to reaffirm its stance on human rights on a global stage. Although the anti-gay law is a big part as to why Canada should intervene it is not the only reason, other reasons are that Russia are consistently violating human rights which could worsen over time.  The author FoNiemi strongly believes that is is Canada and Quebec’s duty to pressure Russian and stand up for human rights and gay rights as they have done in there province and country

The author Fo Niemi argues that Canada should pressure Russian to change its anti-gay law. The overall moral claim is control vs. freedom where this Russian law controls and not having the law is freedom. The moral claims that supports his argument are human life have fundamental moral worth which is the sanctity of life. Basically since in Russia homosexual acts can lead to jail time or even the death penalty Russia is discarding the sanctity of life. Another moral claim in the direction is everybody’s interests should have equal consideration which means everyone matters whether it be that 2 males in the entire world are homosexual and in a couple well there interests should be as valuable as any other couple in the world. To add on to moral claims in the author’s argument is that one should do what makes them the happiest, stating that if drinking hot chocolate makes me happier then drinking coffee then I should drink hot chocolate another example would be if being with homosexual or any other orientation makes me happier than being straight or being straight makes me happier than being homosexual I should do that thing.

A major factor as to whether Canada should pressure this Russian anti-gay law is Moral Relativism vs. Universalism. Moral Relativism states that different societies have different moral values thus different “rights” and “wrongs” and to impose ones beliefs on to another societies believes is immoral and arrogant.  As to Universalism is the belief that there are certain overall concepts that are not bound by society and are wrong no matter what culture it is in. Basically Canada and Quebec need to decide whether LGBT (lesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender) rights are universal  and should be imposed onto other societies or are these rights not universal and should be left up to the discretion of the societies.

Personally I agree with Fo Niemi that human rights in general should be imposed to societies that do not have them or some parts of them which includes LGBT rights. I believe there are 0 reasons as to why a person’s personal choices which only impact their lives should be subject to prosecution. Sexual orientation should not be imposed on to anyone if you are straight you should live as a straight person and if you are homosexual, then you are homosexual there is no argument. 




Niemi, Fo. "Montreal Gazette." The Gazette, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. <


The title of your article brought me up because I am totally in favor of gay rights. I feel like Canada always waits for the United States to make the first move in any international conflict and never takes initiative. Cutting the imports with Russia in order to pressure could be the best way to make them change their politics. Furthermore, by doing this, we would probably influence other countries to do so. This conflict could be our chance to distinguish from the United States and to start a movement. I truly believe that one's right to freedom should not be based on sexual orientation. As you stated, Russia is constantly violating human rights by censuring tons of information and not allowing freedom of speech. People against gay marriage’s arguments are often that it breaks the family ideal of a man and woman together. I think this is very superficial and I don't understand on what base these people lean on to affirm that two men would be less good parents than a man and a woman. These people don't want children to be exposed to gays and lesbians, and they argue that it would be bad for their self-esteem if they get bullied because of their same sex parents. Don’t you think we should rather teach our kids to be open-minded and not to bully instead of preventing other people to express their love?