Our first interview :)

If you missed our CBC interview this morning, not to worry, you can listen to it here!

If you prefer to read it, see below!

CBC “Dayne Moyer is behind a petition called Gold Medal Message, and he’s in the studio this morning. Hi there!”

Dayne “Hi there, good morning.”

CBC “So tell me a bit about what you’re doing.”

Dayne “For sure. Well, I guess the idea comes from the fact that boycotting the Olympics is a really big decision. It’s happened historically but it’s usually on pretty large precedent. But it really takes away an opportunity from actual athletes. Many athletes at the Olympics feel like they only get one chance at it. So, recently some laws were passed that criminalize being an LGBT person in Russia. To really clarify that, to put it into perspective, I’m a criminal right now in Russia, if I were to be a citizen there. But now so are you, because you’re allowing me on this program. And that’s something that I think people aren’t understanding the depth of. You don’t even need to be an LGBT person, allowing an LGBT person to speak about the fact that they have human rights in general puts you in a position to be arrested and put into prison, which is really serious. So, we decided that, me and a couple friends of mine, that we had to do something, and that boycotting really wasn’t an option. You know, we love the Olympics and we love the spirit of it, and we also think that a more powerful message can be made.”

CBC “Now just to stop you there for a moment before we talk about the way you’re going to go with this, with what you’re trying to do. You should know that we talked to Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada earlier this morning. She suggested in fact that a boycott could, because of the seriousness of this, be dangerous for the LGBT community in Russia, once people leave the Olympics what will happen and what will be seen, and the fact that people there don’t even want a boycott. She also suggested that there could be some challenges even to countries that show support for LGBT issues and communities. So lets hear what you’re planning to do here.”

Dayne “For sure. Well I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s really important to mention that too, that yeah, if Russians felt like they were having a boycott because of the  LGBT community, or they felt that the economics of the Olympics were in jeopardy, then the backlash towards LGBT people in Russia would be massive. So another reason that we definitely don’t want a boycott there. But we need to do something. And yesterday in the news actually an article was written by a Russian lawmaker saying that the law will extend to competitors, athletes, Olympians, Paralympians. That everyone will be persecuted in this new law and that no governing authority has the option of not enforcing it. So, what we found out yesterday is that there already are athletes going out that are LGBT that are going to wear that pin, and just them doing it themselves is going to put themselves in actually a really negative space, where the risk of danger, the risk of being arrested before they can participate is really high.”

CBC “So I think I took us down a road that got us talking about the issues before the message. So the Gold Medal Message and the pin is actually what, how would it work?”

Dayne “It’s an entire team coming out together, and simply sending a message through wearing a very small rainbow pin or badge on their jacket. That in their country, we recognize the human rights of LGBT people, and sending that message that, from our understanding, this is human rights violation and that as a country, we don’t necessarily stand for it.”

CBC “Now are you calling on Team Canada to wear these pins?”

Dayne “Absolutely yes. We have a petition on change.org that currently sends a message out to Canadian, US, and British Olympic and Paralympic committies. So when you sign it, you’re actually sending an email to those three organizations.”

CBC “How do you feel about the backlash that we’ve been talking about that could be potential for many showing support?”

Dayne “I think that, you know, it’s scary, but it’s happening already, that backlash. It’s violent in Russia right now.”

CBC “Why would this work, what you’re proposing, in a safe way, do you think?”

Dayne “I have a lot of experience with non-violent petitioning. For instance, when we had Bill 18 a lot of us went up to Steinbach, and we went to the church and we had a non-violent petition where we held signs and we said nothing to the church members. And it actually went extremely well. We got to know everyone who was at the church, we had long personal conversations about it. And it was because it wasn’t about saying what our opinion was versus the other person, it was simply being present and in the moment, and stating in a demonstrative way what we believe in.”

CBC “And you see this as a kind of extension of that sort of peaceful protest, in terms of the pins.”

Dayne “Absolutely. Yeah, we aren’t encouraging any athletes at all to come out and speak in any way, or to make themselves a person who could be a victim of any sort of violence, but to simply represent the notion that these rights are being represented. We also feel that LGBT people in Russia who watch this are going to be given a sense of hope, that somebody in the international community is watching and recognizing the things that they’re going through. It’s a way of reaching out to LGBT Russians in a very small way, saying ‘You know what? There are people out there that are listening and we are trying, we’re not going to let this continue happening to you.'”

CBC “Where do you see athletes wearing the pins? Like for what portion of- ?”

Dayne “Just during the opening ceremony, is what we’re encouraging.”

CBC “Your petition is just a few days old, how much response have you had already?”

Dayne “It’s at about 130 on the petition and we’ve got people actually coming in now from New Zealand, and Iceland, and all over the United States and Canada. We also have about 150 ‘likes’ on our facebook page, facebook.com/goldmedalmessage, and are building a following on twitter, @goldmedalmsg.”

CBC “We wrote on Facebook ‘should athletes in Canada boycott the games?’ and people, suggesting, as you have, other options, other things to do beyond a boycott. But some of the listeners have been writing to us, I’m just reading this comment here, ‘Why make this about people’s sexuality? Judge people on how well they perform in their sport. Just go there and win gold and perform well and that will in itself be a statement.”

Dayne “Well you know, I think it’s really important to note that Russia is breaking international human rights law. And I do not believe that as Canadians we can go to a country that is breaking these laws, that is hurting people because of a basic thing that I don’t believe that they chose. I don’t believe we can go to that country and encourage their economy and support their community and publicize that place, without also saying ‘To be fair, you’re also violating human rights law’. So if we’re going to Russia, which we are, and we’re promoting that country, and that place, I think it’s also really important that we send a message that ‘Russia, here’s a lot of money, here’s a lot of press coverage, however, we haven’t failed to notice the fact that you are violating this human rights law.”

CBC “We’ll leave it there Dayne, thank you.”

Dayne ” Thank you very much”

 

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