IOC Pres Refuses to Explicitly Affirm That LGBT Protected
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Breaking: IOC President Refuses to Explicitly Affirm That LGBT are Included In Olympic Charter Protections Against Discrimination
New York, NY - The President of International Olympic Committee (IOC) responded to more than 78,000 All Out (www.allout.org) members from around the world in a letter to All Out’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, Andre Banks. Last week members sent emails to the new IOC president Thomas Bach asking whether lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are protected by Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which bars discrimination. Thousands also followed-up with tweets and phone calls to the IOC HQ in Switzerland, leaving messages and asking the same question.
The letter from President Bach did not directly address the question posed by members, but rather reiterated previous statements from the IOC. The letter can be read here [http://www.scribd.com/doc/174203622/IOC-President-Responds-to-Allout]
“Bach has refused - again - to explicitly recognize gays and lesbians as a protected group under Olympic Principle 6, which prohibits discrimination. It’s 2013 and the IOC still can’t say “gay” - that tells the world that being lesbian or gay is something to hide or keep locked in the closet,” said Andre Banks, co-founder and Executive Director of All Out. “Bach should encourage Olympians in Sochi to speak out against discrimination faced by gay athletes and citizens in Russia - because that’s what the Olympic charter says is right. But the IOC is bending its own rules to obscure the obvious conflict with unjust Russian laws, which seek to silence discussion of gay people. ”
Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter reads, "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.”
Just last week, the IOC said it is convinced discrimination will not take place during the Sochi Games, despite Russia’s anti-gay laws. The IOC said they do not comment on local laws as long as the Olympic Charter is not violated.
“To most people the Olympic Movement means something much bigger than the technicalities and bureaucracies of the IOC and National Olympic Committees. Host countries like Russia should not be able to dictate who is and is not a part of this inspiring and global movement or pick and choose the values it cares about.
“With the IOC too afraid to speak out, it now falls to us, as concerned global citizens and Olympic spectators, to encourage national Olympic committees, athletes, and sponsors to take up the mantle of Principle 6 in the face of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown.”
In August, All Out members delivered more than 300,000 signatures to the International Olympic Committee headquarters [video]. Members urged the IOC to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law ahead of the 2014 Winter Games.
check the live counter of emails sent to the IOC, click here
In 76 countries it is a crime to be gay; in 10 it can cost you your life. All Out is mobilizing millions of people and their social networks to build a powerful global movement for love and equality. Our mission is to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.