The Toronto Sun posted the following headline on Monday, August 19, 2013 at 08:18 PM.
“”Russian runners kiss following race, sparking anti-gay propaganda law protest rumours” The full article can be read at http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/18/russian-runners-kiss-following-race-sparking-anti-gay-propaganda-law-protest-rumours.
Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova are two Russian team members on the 4 x 400 meter relay team that won gold medals at the International games in Moscow. The two kissed at the end of the race, and then again on the award stand. Yulia Gushchina and Antonina Krivoshapka were the two other team members, and all four members of the team embraced on the award stand.
Russia has recently received negative international press because of the new anti-gay laws that were passed in anticipation of the Sochi Olympics. Given the sometimes draconian responses of challenges to Russian authority, this was a brave statement made in a most beautiful way.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture is going to generate millions of words and views on the various social media sites. Two Swedish pole vaulters painted their toenails with rainbows in solidarity with the anti-gay movement in Russia. Two Swedish hockey players in the NHL also commented against the Russian anti-gay rules.
This is the best reaction against an unpopular law that can be imagined. A photograph of two attractive women kissing in defiance of a new anti-gay law is pure genius.
There is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that applies directly to this response to an unreasonable law.
“In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.”
These kisses are a powerful tool against the Russian prohibition of demonstrating public displays of affection by same-gender couples. The runners have exhibited the spiritualist attitude of personal responsibility in making this dramatic statement. They have also exemplified the Golden Rule in the way they made their point.
The controversy created by this picture caused the International Olympic Commission to ask the Russians to explain how this new law will be applied at the Sochi games. A quiet and peaceful approach is resulting in creating an atmosphere that will erode the power of this new law. The Russians are now stating that these laws will not interfere with the Sochi Olympic games.
In this case, a kiss is not just a kiss.