“Olympic games are a sports festival embracing human diversity and great unity,” the International Olympic Committee head says. The IOC head did not, however, reference LGBT rights or Russia’s anti-LGBT laws directly — and asked world leaders not to politicize the games. [Update: Some of his speech, including a comment opposing discrimination, was cut in NBC’s broadcast in the U.S.]
“We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex people,” Ban Ki-moon tells the International Olympic Committee. The IOC ignored those comments in its press release about the event, while media reports highlighted them.
With activists calling for demonstrations of opposition to Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law in Sochi, the International Olympic Committee won’t specify how it will respond to violations of its own propaganda ban. “[T]he lack of clear guidelines as to authorized and unauthorized behaviors encourages self censorship,” an advocate says.
“It tells you a lot about [IOC] President Bach and the IOC’s commitment to human rights that they believe this issue should be easily compartmentalized into a protest zone,” one LGBT advocate says.
Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, met with Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Monday.
“The IOC cannot hope to influence national legislation outside the scope of the Games and has to respect the law of each host country,” the head of the International Olympic Committee writes. Not enough, All Out head Andre Banks responds.
Thomas Bach of Germany is now responsible for running the IOC during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.