Main | Monday, December 08, 2014

Did The IOC Just Ban Anti-Gay Nations From Hosting Future Olympic Games?

Via the Associated Press:
Thomas Bach never thought it would be this easy. In rapid fashion and without a single vote against or even an abstention, the International Olympic Committee on Monday overwhelmingly approved its president's 40-point reform package — the biggest shake-up of the organization in decades. Among other measures approved was the rewording of the IOC's non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation — a move that followed the controversy over Russia's law against gay "propaganda" ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The new Principle 6 clause says the Olympics should be free of discrimination "of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." Former Olympic diving gold medalist Greg Louganis said the new wording removes all doubt about the interpretation of the clause. "Today's move will make it clear about open hearts and open minds in the spirit of the Olympic Games," he said.
More from Gay Star News:
Principle 6 originally read: "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." With sexual orientation included, it implies that countries with laws that actively discriminate against gay people will not be able to apply to host. It must be noted the IOC remains unclear whether this decision will affect any future bids. It comes after several people were arrested during the Sochi Olympics earlier this year, held in the shadow of Russia's "gay propaganda" laws. "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."
I'll update this post if further analysis becomes available.

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