Author: M. G.
Jay Leno's Tonight Show on Monday could host quite a big personage: the president of the United States Barack Obama. Leno had the privilege to talk with his guest about many issues and, among these, he wanted Obama to make his opinion clear about the recent Russian homophobic wave. Leno compared the new Russian laws to those promulgated in Germany by the Nazi party: "...Homosexuality is against the law". Since the words of a politician can't be as direct as the words of a journalist, Obama's reply was less radical but still expressed what we would expect: "Well, I've been very clear [...] that whether you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country". Fair enough. Putin is now trembling with fear for the US President having "no patience" for his anti-gay laws.
When it came to what to do about the Winter Olympics Games in Sochi, it was the typical politician-like watery statement though. Obama is sure that the new anti-gay law in Russia will not mean a different treatment for the athletes, as most of them come from countries where LGBT discrimination is not tolerated... And so? Black athlete Jesse Owens won the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Hitler was in the audience. Did it count? Everybody wants the Sochi Olympics to work without problems or scandals, Russia and the US too.
What gives a clearer signal than this interview is the reason that was given yesterday for the annulment of the meeting between Obama and Putin, which was supposed to happen in Moscow next September. It's not because of the gay laws but because Russia gave asylum to US public enemy number 1, Edward Snowden, something that worries the US administration more than gay rights at the moment.
Maybe we expect too much from the most powerful man in the world and we don't know why Obama says what he says. What we do know is that our priorities differ in more than one way.