Activism | Ban-Ki Moon | Olympics | Russia | Sochi Olympics | United Nations

'Pride House' Calls on UN to Denounce Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 4.32.59 PMAn international coalition of LGBT sports and human rights activists have demanded that the United Nations take action to support LGBT people before the Sochi Olympics in 2014. 

Pride House International is calling for the UN flag to not be flown at the games (as is the tradition), for the rainbow symbol to be protected (as well as all those who adopt the symbol), and for Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General, to denounce Russia's crackdown on LGBT people during the "Solemn Appeal for an Olympic Truce". 

In a press release, members of Pride House "expressed their dismay at the failure of the United Nations to make a clear statement against Russian anti-gay laws in their draft resolution for an Olympic Truce."

The Olympic Truce, a call for peace and understanding during the Olympics, hearkens back to the custom of ekecheiria during the ancient Olympics. It is now the practice of the United Nations General Assembly to approve a resolution calling for an Olympic Truce prior to each edition of the Olympic Games. Despite efforts by many in the United Nations, the resolution proposed by the government of Russia fails to include specific language against LGBT discrimination, and of course does not denounce the current situation of homophobia that imperils the principle of sport for all and sport as a human right during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games."

In August Pride House, in conjunction with other LGBT organizations, launched a protest campaign called the "Same-sex Hand-Holding Initiative" which, simply, calls on everyone (athletes, coaches, spectators, staff, etc.) to hold hands with members of the same sex as often as possible in Russia during the Olympics. The protest is an effort to bypass the Internationl Olympic Committee-sanctioned ban on more overt displays of same-sex support like kissing or rainbow paraphernalia. 

Towleroad reported last month on the IOC's coming out against pro-gay advocacy at the Olympics:

According to the report [released by Gay Star News, the IOC plans equate any displays of LGBT rights advocacy or solidarity with a "demonstration of political, religious or racial propaganda", which is prohibited by Rule 50 if the organization's charter. Those found in violation of Rule 50 can be subject to "disqualification or withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned," without any sort of appeal. The IOC spokeswoman who spoke to Gay Star News did not specify if those found "in violation of Rule 50" would also be subject to any punitive action by Russian authorities. 


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  1. We need to petition our legislators to officially designate Feb 2014 as 'International Equality Month'.

    While individual, group, and corporate voices are moving the conversation forward they would resonate louder if they had official national backing.

    The world will be watching Sochi. Rainbow flags flown as part of national delegations banners along with televised interviews with equality affirming dignitaries would show not only Russian but oppressed LGBT everywhere that the world is aware of their plight and to not give up hope.

    You want to export equality Prime Minister Cameron then start with this.

    Spread this message thru media sites and contact your legislators.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 20, 2013 6:54:05 PM

  2. Well, I feel silly!

    First, I thought the headline said "US" not "UN" and I thought it was referring to us and not the USA. And I was like, "uhh, don't most of us already denounce Russia's anti-gay policy?" Then I reread it, LOL!

    Sleep, I need!

    Posted by: Nat | Sep 20, 2013 6:58:33 PM

  3. What I would love to see is a documentary made by Russian gay persons who have to live under these NEW draconian laws that are meant to bully and harm them. Imagine if a minority group anywhere else in the western world suddenly were told by their government that talking about yourselves, being yourselves ... something that is innate - is illegal?
    What the hell is wrong with planet Earth?

    Posted by: hgfuu | Sep 20, 2013 7:04:06 PM

  4. I would have added a statement that enforcement of these laws during the Olympics would be treated as a violation of the Truce, with all of the ugliness that implies.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Sep 20, 2013 7:50:00 PM

  5. Equating gay rights to those of Paralympics is skewed and frankly wrong, don't shoulder those with more than they deal with

    Posted by: Scootsman | Sep 20, 2013 9:15:59 PM

  6. It's commonwealth games anyway, not Olympics, they're in brazil

    Posted by: Scootsman | Sep 20, 2013 9:22:12 PM

  7. Gays believe that things can be "demanded" away. Like spoiled brats stomping their feet And what does all this have to do with pride? That Pride House is suspect. Gays only care about their kind, but they rip each other up constantly. You can witness it on this small, scope of a website. Would these bitches ever care about The Olympics? Spare me. Protest can disguise a lousy sex life -- or none at all.

    Posted by: Ed | Sep 21, 2013 1:38:30 AM

  8. The United Nations HAS ALREADY done much of that, and actually meaningful things.

    The UN Human Rights Office DEMANDED that Russia repeal its homophobic law, the UN Human Rights Committee has ruled that it is a violation of international law, AND Ban-Ki Moon & Navi Pillay condemned it even BEFORE it came into the fore at a UN LGBT rights forum.

    The UN deserves more credit than some people give it. Remember, about a third of UN member-states are homophobic regimes, and UN officials worked hard (and successfully) to pass a LGBT equal rights resolution in the UN Human Rights Council despite this.

    Posted by: Emma | Sep 21, 2013 8:03:23 AM

  9. @ED;

    Nice try troll.

    Posted by: bear | Sep 21, 2013 10:42:02 AM

  10. " Imagine if a minority group anywhere else in the western world suddenly were told by their government that talking about yourselves, being yourselves ... something that is innate - is illegal?
    What the hell is wrong with planet Earth?"

    thus there lies the problem that you don't identify "yourself" to your "deed"

    it's like Fisherman going to a country who don't like fish, Fisherman can not force anyone to like fish, and fisherman can stop fishing and he would no longer be fisherman.

    however if fisherman insists that he has very high want and can not live without fishing, can not stop talking about fishing..wants everyone to know about his fishing habits to people who don't like fish, he will be politely told to go away somewhere where others enjoy fish..but that specific nation does who gives this fisherman right to force liking fish on anyone...thus I am sorry people, nobody gives you right to force what others don't want on them..period!

    Posted by: Guest | Sep 21, 2013 1:10:54 PM

  11. Bear: Glad I'm not stuck in a relationship with you. Someone could be, but you'll never know it.

    Posted by: Ed | Sep 21, 2013 2:36:32 PM

  12. I thought this was a new logo for IHOP for a second.

    Posted by: GB | Sep 21, 2013 2:37:39 PM

  13. Guest. Your comments sound logical but miss the mark. Your comparison is like between apples and dirt, not even apples and oranges.
    We are talking about basic human rights not some sale-able commodity. That would be easy. Just bright in big business and create demand for your fish as they do so well everywhere.

    Posted by: acde | Sep 21, 2013 3:58:22 PM

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