Main | Friday, August 30, 2013

IOC Responds To New York's LGBT Pols

The International Olympic Committee has responded to a letter sent them by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other local LGBT elected officials. Their letter asked the IOC to publicly condemn Russia's abuses of LGBT people. Here's the IOC's response in full:
Dear representatives of the state and City of New York,  We would like to confirm receipt of your letter of 9 August to IOC President Rogge. Thank you for having shared with us your concerns and proposals on the important topic of LGBT rights in Russia in the context of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The IOC agrees that the Olympic Games should be free of any kind of discrimination and I can reassure you that we work hard to make this a reality at each of the games. However, it is important to stress that the IOC remit is limited to the scope of the Games. For instance, the IOC cannot influence national legislation and has to respect the law of any host country.

In regard to Sochi 2014, the IOC is currently in close discussions with the highest government level in Russia and has received a number of assurances, but we are continuing the dialogue with Russian authorities on this important topic. As you will understand, it would be inappropriate and counterproductive to comment publicly on the details of the discussions while they are on-going.

However, we have widely communicated our position which was also published on our website at the end of July. Rest assured that the safety of athletes, spectators and others attending the Games remains a top priority for the IOC and we will continue to work to ensure that this will be the case in Sochi and future editions of the Games. I hope you find this background information helpful. Thank you for your important work and for your commitment to ensuring an environment free of discrimination.
The letter is signed by Christophe De Kepper, Director General of the IOC.

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