Monday, December 15, 2014

Some Good News About The Olympics

Could we see this at the next Olympics? This not-at-the-Olympics gay kiss between Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firov was to protest Russia's anti-gay laws prior to the Sochi Olympics earlier this year

As reported last week (including this article in The New York Times), The International Olympic Committee has just,
"approved the rewording of its Principle 6 on nondiscrimination 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."
As the group ALL OUT cheered in an e-mail blast on Dec 8, 2014,

This is huge. We've been pressuring the IOC to protect lesbian, bi and gay athletes ever since we found out about Russia's awful anti-gay law leading up to the Sochi Olympics. And because we came together, we won:

-In August last year, more than 50 of us delivered the biggest petition ever received by the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne with over 300,000 signatures.

-A few months later, more than 80,000 of us directly emailed IOC President Thomas Bach. The IOC publicly stated for the first time ever that discrimination based on sexual orientation is against Olympic values.

-In February 2014, more than 40,000 of us submitted requests to the IOC to change the rules so that the Games can't be held in countries where laws can harm gay, lesbian, bi and trans people.

-In September this year, we had another big win. The IOC announced that future host cities will be legally bound to respect the anti-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter, Principle 6.
A coalition of LGBTQ Advocacy groups, including ALL OUT, Athlete Ally and Human Rights Watch, as well as lots of individuals who signed petitions and requests and emails, spoke out, and stood up, helped make this change happen.

But, as ALL OUT says,

...there's more work to do. The IOC didn't discuss including 'gender identity' – so trans fans and athletes are still at risk of discrimination during the Olympics. We need to keep the pressure on the IOC and other international bodies to make sure NO ONE has to suffer for who they are or who they love.

Progress, and a path forward to making things better.

Good news, indeed!

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