Breaking: IOC To Add Sexual Orientation Protection To Olympic Charter


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims it just voted to add sexual orientation protections to its charter. But gender identity is still ignored.

In the months leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, activists around the world protested Vladimir Putin's new anti-gay laws, and the International Olympic Committee's refusal to stand against them. Despite the Olympic Charter's statement that discrimination in a host country is unacceptable, sexual orientation was never specified, until now.

Today, the IOC states it has "approved all 40 recommendations." Among them, Recommendation 14: "Strengthen the 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism."

Approved today, according to the IOC, is this statement: "The IOC to include non-discrimination on sexual orientation in the 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism."

Note that gender identity is not mentioned. 

The New Civil Rights Movement, all the way back in August of last year, was the first to report that Rule 6 in the Olympic Charter does address discrimination, "posing a contradiction for the International Olympic Committee," as we stated. 

Fundamental Principles of Olympism:

6. 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.

And IOC members are required to state an oath that reads, in part, "I undertake to serve the Olympic Movement to the very best of my fight against all other forms of discrimination."

Perhaps this is a step in that direction.

Outsports' Cyd Zeigler puts it this way:

These are certainly positive steps. However, it should be noted that the IOC claimed that sexual orientation was already included in its charter and still voted Russia as its 2014 Winter Olympics host. The 2022 host will also be guaranteed to have a checkered-at-best past on LGBT issues. So the policy is nice, but the teeth it will have are likely to be quite dull.


Image via Wikimedia 
Hat tip: Washington Blade

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