The 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Rio De Janeiro, where robust LGBT protections already exist but the International Olympic Committee today announced that future Olympics host cities must sign a contract with an added clause vowing to protect LGBT participants and attendees from discrimination.
“This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated,” said Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out, the global movement for love and equality. “This is a particularly important moment for the world’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens who face discrimination and persecution not only in Russia but in countries all over the world. We will continue working to make sure this change is powerfully enforced – these new rules must prevent a replay of Sochi.”
According to IOC Sports Director, Christopher Dubi, the new clause will include “the prohibition of any form of discrimination, using the wording of Fundamental Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter.” This clause will ensure that future host cities must abide by international human rights standards in order to host the games, including the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and athletes. “By adopting a non-discrimination clause into its host city contracts, the IOC is showcasing its own realization that we must protect the rights of every athlete to live free and openly,” said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “The Principle 6 campaign sought to shed light on the responsibility of host countries to uphold the olympic values, and this action validates all of the hard work by organizations and individuals across the world who’ve engaged in the fight for LGBT equality.”
A useless public relations stunt after the horrible fact of Sochi to save face a little too little and a little too late. The IOC is only requiring that countries that host the Olympics agree to not discriminate against ATHLETES and SPECTATORS. It says nothing about anti-gay laws excluding a country from hosting the Olympics. Saudi Arabia could do this, as could Iran or Uganda or any other country with anti-gay laws.