The outcry over the Winter Olympics being held in Russia is believed to have driven the change. The Olympic Charter has been amended to explicitly include protection for lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes, support staff and fans, after the global outcry over the Winter Olympics being staged in Sochi, Russia. The International Olympic Committee has voted unanimously for the amendment. "The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without 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," the Olympic Charter now reads. This wording will be included in all future Olympic Games host city contracts. Gay Star News reports 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. Executive Director of All Out Andre Banks says it’s "a pivotal moment for equality in sport." He says it means lesbian, gay and bisexual people are welcome in the Olympic movement and will be protected. "This gain was made possible because of the global outcry, including from hundreds of thousands of All Out members, about Russia’s anti-gay law at the time of the Sochi Olympics.” At this stage, there is no mention of transgender or intersex people. Last week All Out called for the IOC to go one step further and also include protection on grounds of “gender identity”, which would have protected transgender athletes, spectators and fans too. However this proposal has not been voted on yet.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Tuesday, 9th December 2014 - 8:21am
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