Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Well, Now *This* Is Interesting...

Stretch sends in this rather interesting story:

Married Olympians: We Can’t Live Together During Games, But Gay Couples Can
LONDON (CBSDC) — An Australian Olympic married couple claims they have been prohibited from sharing a room in the London Olympic Village, even though gay couples are reportedly allowed to do so.

Olympic shooters Russell and Lauryn Mark told news.com.au that they are being discriminated against by officials.
I would assume that the reason they are not allowed to share quarters is that there are male and female sections for athletes, and that for a married heterosexual couple to share a room would mean that someone would be in the opposite gender section. This is the only way I can see the discrimination being allowed to stand - it's not that the Olympic committee is discriminating against heterosexual married couples; it's that they're keeping genders strictly segregated.

As for same-sex couples being allowed to share quarters, this is a tough call. If the only objection to married hetero couples is the division of genders, then it stands that same-sex couples should be allowed to share rooms. If, however, there's an attempt to prevent fraternization, then the Olympic committee needs to start drafting new rules - either ban fraternization between athletes entirely, or carve out a "couples only" section for quarters.

Besides, I'd imagine the married athletes - of either inclination - would be in less trouble staying with their partners...

That is all.


Old Windways said...

Given this headline, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/olympic-village-sex-fest-espn-magazine-condoms_n_1672257.html I don't think any efforts to prevent fraternization are going to be successful.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I think the main reason is the male/female separation and the available facilities. Another article quotes an Australian Olympic official:

"Australian Olympic Committee media boss Mike Tancred told The Age five female shooters would have been forced to share one bathroom if the Marks had been accommodated."

It makes sense if they're using three bedroom suites set up for one person per bedroom. Moving her into his room would require moving the two other men in the suite to another suite, displacing three women. If there's a female suite with only two women assigned, that's the logical place to put the extras (maybe in roll-in beds in the common room, if they are suites), but then those five would have to share one bathroom, rather than the planned three.

Either way, it sounds like a facility issue, not a discrimination issue like the Marks claim.

Armed Texan said...

So this brings another issue that no advocate of same sex marriage has been willing to explain to me. If we are to allow same sex marriage then will there be restrictions on who homosexuals are allowed to marry just as there are for heterosexuals? In other words, do we apply laws that ban marriage between siblings, first cousins, and other direct relatives? If so, on what rational basis? It's icky, yes, but I'm told ickiness is not a basis for continuing an "unjust" law. If not, then are we not setting up unequal application of the laws just as proponents of same sex marriage say we have now (outside of a few states)?

Like this Olympic story, there is much that is being trampled under the treads of the bulldozer of progress that we may regret losing later because we were in such a gosh darn hurry to be "fair" and make things "equal".