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IOC Can't Say The Word 'Gay' - READ

BachResponding to over 78,000 members from LGBT rights advocacy group All Out who called for a clarification as to whether the Olympic Charter specifically bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sent a letter to All Out Co-Founder and Executive Director Andre Banks attempting to allay any concerns over gay rights at Sochi or any future Olympic Games.

In the letter, Bach insists that "the IOC will do everything it can to ensure that the Olympic Games in Sochi as well as any future Games’ edition will be free of any form of discrimination." He again reiterates that the IOC has received "assurances" from the highest levels of Russian government that the Russian state will adhere to the Olympic Charter's "fundamental principles," including Principle 6 which 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." While many, including Sir Ian McKellan, would argue that this prohibition of discrimination should naturally include discrimination based on sexual orientation, the IOC is unwilling to comment. Furthermore, Bach's letter has done little to assuage Banks' fears and perhaps those of the thousands of others who have called, emailed, and tweeted the IOC expressing their concern for the rights of LGBT individuals. The Montreal Gazette reports:

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.” - See more at: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2013/10/07/lgbt-issues-ioc-president-refuses-to-explicitly-affirm-that-lgbt-included-in-olympic-charter-all-out-says/#sthash.dI5rw8LB.dpuf

Banks"Bach has refused – again – to explicitly recognize gays and lesbians as a protected group under Olympic Principle 6, which prohibits discrimination. It’s 2013 and the IOC still can’t say “gay” – that tells the world that being lesbian or gay is something to hide or keep locked in the closet,” said Andre Banks (pictured right).

"Bach should encourage Olympians in Sochi to speak out against discrimination faced by gay athletes and citizens in Russia – because that’s what the Olympic charter says is right. But the IOC is bending its own rules to obscure the obvious conflict with unjust Russian laws, which seek to silence discussion of gay people" [...]

"To most people the Olympic Movement means something much bigger than the technicalities and bureaucracies of the IOC and National Olympic Committees. Host countries like Russia should not be able to dictate who is and is not a part of this inspiring and global movement or pick and choose the values it cares about.

"With the IOC too afraid to speak out, it now falls to us, as concerned global citizens and Olympic spectators, to encourage national Olympic committees, athletes, and sponsors to take up the mantle of Principle 6 in the face of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown.”

You'll recall the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) last week came out in favor of an amendment to the Olympic Charter that would specifically protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation should such an amendment ever be put to a vote by the IOC.

You can read Bach's full letter AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photo of Andre Banks via Twitter)

IOC President Responds to Allout by All Out

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Comments

  1. Much like the New York Times twenty years ago, which found the word unfit to print.

    Posted by: JCTSF | Oct 8, 2013 9:57:13 AM


  2. With the IOC, you are dealing with mainly middle-aged or older straight people who were raised in an atmosphere of homophobia, and a great deal of it is still there - they feel uncomfortable with the gay issue.
    All of what is taking place now is an education for them, but they need to speed things up and become more proactive.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Oct 8, 2013 10:11:56 AM


  3. What a bunch of losers!

    Posted by: Joel | Oct 8, 2013 10:23:23 AM


  4. The New York Times was the first major publication to use the word "homosexuality" in 1926.

    The NYT first reported that the word "gay" was a synonym for "homosexual" on December 17, 1963.

    The NYT began using "gay" as a synonym for "homosexual" in its stories in 1987.

    They always used the word "gay" in direct quotes or organization's names.

    We can't learn anything from history if we get the histoy wrong.

    And what does any of this have to do with the IOC?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Oct 8, 2013 10:24:10 AM


  5. just who does the ioc think they're protecting? the games? the athletes? the sponsors? host contries? is this the type of leadership that fosters an atmosphere in the spirit of the games?

    the current incompetent board of the ioc should be dragged into inclusion, kicking and screaming if neccessary, to reveal just how wrong their views of diversity and inclusion are.

    Posted by: northalabama | Oct 8, 2013 10:36:29 AM


  6. "IOC still can’t say “gay”"

    maybe he just isn't sure which made up acronym he is supposed to use today

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Oct 8, 2013 10:43:27 AM


  7. @northalabama - And therein lies the problem: the IOC is a self-selected oligarchy, accountable to no one except itself. Changing the make-up of the IOC members poses the same challenges as changing the make-up of China's Communist Party leadership, or the RCC's College of Cardinals.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Oct 8, 2013 10:44:55 AM


  8. No surprise that the IOC is still homophobic. Doesn't anyone remember the 1980s when the IOC went after the Gay Olympics -- but not the Special Olympics, Police Olympics, Animal Olympics, etc. -- forcing the organization to change its name to the Gay Games? The IOC has not changed one iota. I respect and admire the athletes, the but organization stinks!

    Posted by: Scott | Oct 8, 2013 10:48:54 AM


  9. The IOC's inability to support gays explicitly is no surprise. The IOC Committee is feted and enriched by the countries that bid to host the Games.

    They will not bite the hand that feeds them, and keeps them in five-star hotels, limo service, and gifts both luxurious and monetary.

    Posted by: Topol | Oct 8, 2013 11:13:47 AM


  10. "With the IOC, you are dealing with mainly middle-aged or older straight people who were raised in an atmosphere of homophobia, and a great deal of it is still there - they feel uncomfortable with the gay issue."

    Age and straightness are no longer reasons for homophobia. Think of all the middle-aged and older straight people who run our largest corporations and who support us.

    The IOC's problem is money. Host countries pay them lots of it, directly and personally.

    Posted by: Topol | Oct 8, 2013 11:17:11 AM


  11. Need I remind you all that they games were also in China and they are the biggest abuser or Human Rights, not just Gay Rights. I boycotted the Olympics then and I will also with these games! It is all we can do unfortunately.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 8, 2013 11:26:32 AM


  12. Screw the IOC. Boycott the Russian Olympics. Not ONE sponsor has pulled out or commented on the anti-gay policies of the Russians and the non-support by the IOC. I'm disgusted that no one speaks against the sponsors.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Oct 8, 2013 11:27:32 AM


  13. The IOC is basically saying: don't force us to use language that will hurt our financial situation.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 8, 2013 12:04:58 PM


  14. Trying to reason with someone who doesn't acknowledge you, the IOC, may lead to those attempting to reason looking to another source (sponsors). There should be no complaints from the IOC if that's the only course they've left people with.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Oct 8, 2013 1:34:59 PM


  15. The torch was blown out in Moscow. I'm taking that as a sign to avoid this Olympics.

    Posted by: Holocene | Oct 8, 2013 1:38:18 PM


  16. Topol: i agree, like Meja sung in a 90's european hit, it's all about the money.

    I don't even think most of them are homophobic, probably a good bunch of them even had a bad time finding ridicule excuses, but in the end it's the money in their pockets what it matters to them.

    Blatter is another story, but Qatar will be his ruin, he is messing right now with the most important european soccer leagues, and that won't end well for him

    Posted by: jjose712 | Oct 8, 2013 1:43:35 PM


  17. I'll tell you why, OnceMore;

    Because JCTSF is a paid troll, an LCR self-loathing republican who is shilling for Koch Money.

    And anytime some moron republican mentions the word NYTimes they are dog-whistling their stupid and complete wrong "moral equivalence" argument...even if it means lying.

    Which Republicans, especially LCR's just LUUUUV to do.

    Posted by: jensen | Oct 8, 2013 2:07:14 PM


  18. Bach is Putin's friend. IOC is officially the anti-gay hate group!!!

    Posted by: litper | Oct 8, 2013 2:36:54 PM


  19. Cowards! The lot of them!

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 8, 2013 2:58:33 PM


  20. "Need I remind you all that they games were also in China and they are the biggest abuser or Human Rights, not just Gay Rights."

    That doesn't apply any more. Think of what the U.S. has been doing in the last ten years. Then there's Libya, Syria, ...

    Posted by: Topol | Oct 8, 2013 4:36:30 PM


  21. Their continued bigotry smears the image of all Olympians, past and present.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 8, 2013 5:04:18 PM


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