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LGBT Sports Group Pushes IOC to Consider Human Rights in Selection of 2020 Olympics Host


Pride House International--a coalition group of LGBT sports and human rights organizations--has plenty to say about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but the group is already setting its sights on the 2020 games.  According to a press release issued yesterday, Pride House International is calling on the International Olympic Committee to choose a host country for the 2020 Summer Olympics that respects and values LGBT rights:

As the 104 voting members of the International Olympic Committee head to Buenos Aires for the organisation’s 125th session, the Pride House International coalition of LGBT sport and human rights groups is appealing to them to recall the Olympic Charter’s commitment to human rights in their choice of the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Pride House International has published resources for use by IOC voters as they consider the finalist bidders Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo, and is calling on the IOC to support the creation of an advisory committee for future bids to evaluate the human rights impact of hosting coming Olympic Games.

At its 125th session in Buenos Aires, the IOC will elect the host city for 2020 this Saturday, September 7.  Three cities are in the final running for the honor of hosting the games: Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.  On its website, Pride House International has compiled a range of human rights information for IOC voters to use in making their decision, with materials from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the U.S. State Department and the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

The IOC does not consider a country's human rights record in selecting which city should host upcoming Olympic games. That policy has faced criticsm in the past--particularly in the case of China's 2008 Beijing games--and the present, with LGBT groups criticizing the Russian town of Sochi as the site for the 2014 Olympics in light of Russia's draconian 'anti-LGBT propaganda' law.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac8adac5970d-800wiLast month, as we reported here on Towleroad, Pride House International proposed a campaign called the Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative, or SSHHI:

The group is proposing the Same Sex Hand Holding Initiative, which encourages all Olympic participants: athletes, coaches, spectators, staff, media, regardless of their orientation or background, to hold hands with as many members of the same sex as possible as often as possible. That's it.

In addition to its virtual campaigns, Pride House International will be producing posters, shirts and pins to raise awareness of LGBT issues in sports during the Sochi games.  Those materials will be available on the group's website next month.

Cyndi Lauper Creates Some Fun At The Airport

Cyndi Lauper enterained delayed passengers at the airport in Buenos Aires by performing over the PA system and singing one of her all-time classics. I wish all airport delays could be this memorable. Watch, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Cyndi Lauper Creates Some Fun At The Airport" »

Video: Joy Erupts in Argentina Over Legalization of Gay Marriage


Crowds assembled in the Plaza del Congreso in Buenos Aires waiting all night for a vote on marriage equality erupted upon hearing the news at nearly 4:00 in the morning.

Share the moment they heard their nation had chosen equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Video: Joy Erupts in Argentina Over Legalization of Gay Marriage" »

Gay Buenos Aires Couple Refused Marriage Want Mayor Fined


Jose Maria Di Bello and his partner Alex Freyre, the gay Argentine couple whose would-be historic marriage was blocked by a judge last week, want the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, fined for failing to marry them:

"The couple requested that the court set a fine on Macri for each of the days until they are allowed to wed. On Monday, Freyre and Di Bello went to a Civil Registry in the City neighbourhood of Barrio Norte, after Judge Seijas' court ruled that the law barring same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Another court ordered the suspension of the wedding only days ahead of the wedding, claiming the issue fell under Federal Jurisdiction. However, Seijas' dismissed such claims and asked the Mayor to confirm her ruling and request the Civil Registry to marry the couple. Macri refrained to do so, forcing the couple to wait for a decision of the Supreme Court in the matter."

News: Roman Polanski, Frog, Angela Merkel, ENDA, Graham Norton

RoadBlake Hayes, the gay man at the center of the NYC gay bashing over the weekend, asks that you stop calling McCoy's Bar, in front of which the incident occurred, because the owner is cooperating.


RoadEquality Texas offices vandalized in possible hate crime.

RoadReport: Madonna to marry Jesus in "lavish ceremony".

RoadConservative columnist and Nixon speechwriter William Safire dies.

RoadU.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry: Make ENDA top priority. "I believe that if we all concentrate our efforts where it needs to be concentrated, which is on the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, we can get the job done. If we can get ENDA enacted and signed into law, it is only a matter of time before all the rest happens. It is the keystone that holds up the whole bunch, and so we need to focus our energies and attention there."

RoadGraham Norton criticized for calling model a lesbian: "I don't know why they've got some strange lesbian to be the model." The BBC asks: is it ok for gay men to joke about lesbians?

RoadIf you're wondering why Hugh Jackman has a topless mermaid tattoo on his arm, click here.


RoadFugitive director Roman Polanski arrested in Switzerland. (video) Men's art prioritized over women's safety?

RoadMale model fix: Holden Nowell.

RoadObservers: Mormon church regressing on gay issues. "The church has a long way to go to get into the 21st century. They're making incremental movements. What Hafen has done is take them back 25 years."

RoadA few major How I Met Your Mother spoilers...

RoadFriends: the movie?

RoadErotic festival in Buenos Aires opens to gay groups for first time: "Over 30 exhibitors include TV channels for adults, toys and erotic clothing, aphrodisiac dolls, new technologies, DVDs, piercings and tattoos, cosmetics, anime, books and magazines."

RoadSimon Cowell turns 50, pens lengthy birthday card to himself.

RoadBlogger Pam Spaulding delivers keynote address at NC Pride 2009.


RoadFanged frog discovered in remote Thailand hungry for birds.

RoadA day in the life of the Approve Referendum 71 campaign.

RoadAngela Merkel claims victory; Germany to get openly gay foreign minister: "The 47-year old from Bonn will become Germany’s first openly homosexual vice-chancellor and could win more than the normal three cabinet positions traditionally reserved for the junior partner in a coalition government."

RoadBradley Cooper house hunts in L.A.

RoadBoston College Law School defends right of Professor Scott Fitzgibbons to participate in anti-gay "Yes on 1" Maine marriage ad: "Professor Fitzgibbon, as a member of our faculty, is free to express his views … we also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly. As I think any of our faculty might have done, he stated his views without prior notice to or clearance from the Law School."

News: Sperm Donors, Brad Pitt, Axel Hotel, Australia

road.jpg New York sperm donor ordered to pay child support to lesbian couple.

Guestroad.jpg Departing ambassador slams State Department and Condoleezza Rice for DISCRIMINATORY policies: "For the past three years, I’ve urged the Secretary and her senior management team to redress policies that discriminate against gay and lesbian employees. Absolutely nothing has resulted from this. And so I’ve felt compelled to choose between obligations to my partner — who is my family — and service to my country."

road.jpg Buffalo, New York man charged with third-degree assault after punching a man for making "an open display of homosexuality."

road.jpg Peter Andre says that in the 80's he had a crush on Boy George and thought he was female: "She is hot. I thought I was going to marry this woman."

road.jpg Studies of HIV positive gay and bisexual men reveal high rates of unprotected sex: "The research team found that 37.3 percent of the men said they had engaged in unprotected anal intercourse over the past three months. In 41.3 percent of these cases, unsafe sex took place with another HIV-infected partner, but in 31.4 percent of cases the unprotected behavior took place with a partner whose HIV status was unknown. In 23 percent of cases, the infected man engaged in unprotected sex with a partner he knew to be HIV-negative, the study found." The CDC also reported that "more than twice as likely to be infected with the AIDS virus than their white counterparts," although the reason why wasn't immediately clear.

Metcalferoad.jpg In London to accept his GAY award, Jesse Metcalfe puts on his prettiest face and assaults a paparazzo.

road.jpg Starting point: Same-sex couples in Victoria, Australia will soon be allowed to register their relationships. "Attorney-General Rob Hulls said legislation tabled in Parliament yesterday would allow the couples to record their relationship with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Mr Hulls said the register is not gay marriage or a civil union, but would improve access to entitlements, such as superannuation, without de facto and same-sex couples having to prove repeatedly that they are in a committed relationship. 'These reforms provide that Victorian laws, in most cases treat de facto and same-sex couples the same way as married couples,' he said."

road.jpg Daniel from America's Most Smartest Model is now doing Mayonnaise ads.

road.jpg Fort Worth Baptist Church postpones decision on including photos of gay members in a 125th anniversary pictorial directory: " Broadway Baptist Church has debated whether the directory should include gay couples, or gay people individually but not as couples, or whether to omit all individual and family photos. Members were to vote Sunday after morning worship. But in a clear indication that they are divided over how accepting to be of homosexuality, they met for an hour and then postponed any decision until deacons make a recommendation on Feb. 24." Bigotry can be so indecisive.

Etiquetteroad.jpg "Etiquette enforcer" on the Long Island Railroad is also apparently a homophobe: " The latest chapter began March 28, as Clifford took his a seat on the 8:02 a.m. train from Long Beach, in a spot where he might stretch out his 6-foot-4 frame. Nearby, a young man talked loudly on his cellphone to a girlfriend, a railroad no-no. Clifford got upset only after the guy started yammering to Girlfriend No. 2. 'I asked him to keep it down. The kid just ignored me. I started arguing with him, 'Shut the f- - - up!' I said, 'F- - -ing faggot,' or whatever.'"

road.jpg Little pink houses: Brad Pitt calls New Orleans home. And in other Pitt news, Radar wonders if the gaudy ring on Brad's right hand is a symbol of his spiritual solidarity with the gays.

road.jpg New Axel Hotel is defining moment for gay and lesbian tourism in Argentina: "That Buenos Aires would be chosen for such a marketing experiment is a result of a marked change over the past several years in the acceptance of gay men and lesbians in Argentine society. This city of three million people has come a long way from the years of military dictatorship, when being openly gay could lead to jail. Five years ago this was the first major Latin American city to legalize same-sex unions, and this summer it was host to a World Cup for gay soccer players, a first in the region."


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