Olympic Committee urged to ban anti-gay countries
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell has called on London's Olympic organising committee to show support for LGBTI athletes and ban from the games any country that discriminates against LGBTI citizens.
"The Olympic Charter prohibits all discrimination, and this includes homophobic discrimination," Tatchell (pictured) said in a media release.
"Any country that discriminates against women, ethnic or religious minorities, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes should be disqualified from the 2012 Olympics."
The Olympic Charter reads in part:
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
and further states:
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.
“Why isn’t homophobia, biphobia and transphobia being challenged by the Olympic authorities? It is wrong that in over 150 countries LGBT athletes are forced to hide their sexuality in order to get selected and compete,” Tatchell said.
“I appeal to Olympic chiefs, Jacques Rogge and Lord Coe, to make a public statement that LGBT athletes are welcome at London 2012 and that participating nations must not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. We need a signal from the top that homophobia and transphobia are contrary to the Olympic spirit and Charter."
“The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) have, so far, failed to ensure that all competing nations comply with the non-discrimination clauses of the Olympic Charter. It is not too late for them to do so. It’s their duty to uphold the Olympic Charter,” Tatchell concluded.
The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games will take place on Friday July 27.