Olympic Charter to Include Protections for LGB People


The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday approved a motion to include a statement against the discrimination of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the Olympic Charter.

The decision was made at the 127th IOC session, which took place in Monaco on December 8th.

“Today is a great step forward for the Olympics, and particularly for the athletes, spectators, and residents of host countries who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord.

“Our hope is that potential host countries, like Kazakhstan and China, will understand that protecting the rights of sexual minorities is no longer something they can dodge. We call on the IOC to continue its efforts to support equality by including gender identity in Principle 6 as well.”

Earlier this year the IOC voted in favour of including a non-discrimination clause in host city contracts that would require that host cities do not discriminate against people in accordance with Principle 6 of the Olympic charter. The decision made yesterday means that discrimination against gay, lesbian or bisexual people is specifically forbidden.

The change comes following a number of global protests earlier this year during the Sochi Winter Olympics in protest of Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws that make the positive portrayal of LGBT relationships and identities illegal.

Olympian Greg Louganis said the amendment was a significant move in the right direction:

“The true spirit of the Olympic movement is about inclusion, which I am sure the intent has always included sexual orientation and deserves to be inclusive without question of interpretation. Today’s move will make it clear about open hearts and open minds in the spirit of the Olympic Games,” he said.

Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out, an international LGBT advocacy organisation, said the change was precisely what All Out members had been hoping for.

“The Olympic Movement has now stood up for love and equality by officially recognizing gay, lesbian and bi athletes and fans,” he said.

“This gain was made possible because of the global outcry demanding ‘No More Sochis’, including from hundreds of thousands of All Out members. We will continue to push to make sure this change is reflected in the selection of new host cities and expanded to include protections for gender identity.”


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