(L-R) Gold medalist Tatyana Firova and Kseniya Ryzhova of Russia kiss on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 4×400 metres Relay during Day Eight of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Moscow, Russia

The photo posted above is of two Russian track & field athletes on the medal podium during the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow last year. I hope they’re safe and weren’t hurt after showing that public display of gay affection.

My fantasy for the 2014 Sochi Olympics is that that scene is repeated on the massive Olympic stage. As LGBT rights are the civil rights fight of this generation, that picture would be the equivalent of this iconic photo from the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Gold medallist Tommie Smith, (center) and bronze medallist John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200m in the 1968 Summer Olympics wearing Olympic Project for Human Rights badges. The third athlete is silver medalist Peter Norman from Australia wearing an OPHR badge to show his support for the two Americans.

The possibilities are endless, and the statement would be heard around the world. It’s the reason I’ll watch, waiting for that moment that will go down in history.

Unfortunately, when a gay couple engages in a public kiss in Russia, they’re beaten savagely. That’s not an exaggeration, but a fact of live in 2014 Russia.

Jeff Sharlet, the man who pulled the curtain back behind The Family and C Street in the books of the same names, traveled to Russia to experience what life is like there for members of the LGBT community. The result is his latest piece for GQ magazine, “Inside the Iron Closet: What It’s Like to Be Gay in Putin’s Russia.”

He takes us down the back alleys and secret doorways into the hidden, closeted world of Russian gay bars and introduces us to heroic gay activists. Sharlet draws the sickening lines from Russia’s right-wing hatred for gays right back to the intolerant, religious right in the US, showing their use of the same English vernacular like “family values,”

The ideas, meanwhile, are American: the rhetoric of “family values” churned out by right-wing American think tanks, bizarre statistics to prove that evil is a fact, its face a gay one. This hatred is old venom, but its weaponization by nations as a means with which to fight “globalization”—not the economic kind, the human-rights kind—is a new terror.

with the ideas coming straight from their American counterparts

Over his right shoulder there’s the double-headed-eagle flag of czarist Russia; on his desk there’s a bouquet of four flags from the old Confederacy. “Gift from American friends,” he says. “We consider them brothers.” In fact, many of the People’s Council’s initiatives—including the “research” in which the anti-propaganda law is rooted—are taken from the curdled theories of the American right. “When people read it, they are shocked! They understand the gays are not some harmless people.”

Read it and weep, and hope for an Olympic moment we can all be proud of!

Also on Today’s Show

Pussy Riot comes to the US, and makes us fall in love on The Colbert Report!

Ed Schultz goes all in on the Keystone XL pipeline – in favor of it! Seriously.

And Julianna Forlano announced she’s running for Congress. Well, actually, she said she’s thinking about it! Let’s encourage her!