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International Olympic Committee Proposes End To Anti-Gay Discrimination - READ

Sochi

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a proposal to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination language in Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, reports The Advocate.

The IOC received criticism from LGBT advocacy groups for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, given the country’s national law against “gay propaganda”. During the the games, the IOC appeared to defend the arrests and beating of LGBT activists.

Principle 6 currently 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.”

Supporting the proposal, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:

“No athlete or fan should face fear of discrimination because of who they love. The International Olympic Committee must seize this opportunity to protect Olympic attendees and affirm its commitment to equality across the globe.”

The IOC will vote on this and 39 other proposed amendments in December.

Read the full report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Olympic Rower Robbie Manson Comes Out As Gay

Manson

Olympic rower Robbie Manson of New Zealand has publicly come out as gay in a post published over at Out Sports. Manson opens up for the first time about the struggles he faced living in the closet:

Although it hasn't always been in the forefront of my mind, deep down I was terrified of anyone finding out that I was gay, especially my teammates. I seriously thought that if anyone found out I wouldn't be able to row anymore. The thought of coming out, in my mind, felt so limiting and terrifying.

Also, in a strange way, I looked down on other people who were gay, and to a degree felt sorry for them, thinking to be gay was to be "less than." I knew I was gay too, and I hated myself because of it. I would get quite depressed about.

RowingManson also talks about his decision to finally come out to his friends before the 2012 Olympics, a decision that left him very emotional:

It was the night after being named to the NZ rowing team for the London Olympics that I came out to more people. I was ecstatic to be selected in the quad. Going to the Olympics was a dream of mine ever since watching the Sydney Games when I was 10 years old. We were having a few drinks and near the end of the night I had a heart-to-heart with two of my friends. In a very emotional state I told them that I was different, and then finally that I was gay.

On his role as a role model for other gay athletes grappling with the same challenges he once faced, Manson says:

There are already a lot of great gay sporting role models, and a lot who have achieved far more than I have, but I hope that my story can add something to what is already out there. To show other people who might be struggling with their sexuality, not only that it's ok to be gay, but it's a good thing, and it won't change who you are or limit what you can achieve. At the end of the day, it's only one of the many things that define me as a person.

It's how hard you're prepared to work for something and your talent that determines what you can achieve, not your sexuality.

(Photos via Facebook)


Canadian Councillor's Campaign Signs Vandalized, Sprayed 'Homophobe'

Jeff earle

A candidate for a seat on the city council in Brockville, Ontario, has had five election campaign posters defaced, one of them with the word “homophobe” in black spray paint, reports The Recorder. 1297620912487_ORIGINAL

Jeff Earle, a council veteran of 23 years, is convinced the “homophobe” charge stems from a vote last February preventing debate on a motion to fly the rainbow flag behind city hall during the Winter Olympics.

A unanimous vote was required to get the motion to the floor. Earle, the only councillor to oppose hearing the motion, says he blocked the vote because of a desire to keep politics out of the Olympics.

 

Earle, who says the vandalism should be treated as a hate crime, resents being tarred as a homophobe because of that vote:

“I treat it as a hate crime. For them to label that, I find it a little offensive. That vote was not about whether you support individuals.”

City police are currently investigating.

In June, Ontario elected its first female and lesbian premier Kathleen Wynne.

[sign photo via Ronald Zajac/The Recorder and Times]


Documentary 'To Russia With Love' Looks at LGBT Rights In Russia In The Lead Up To Sochi Olympics: VIDEO

Russ

To Russia With Love, a new documentary from EPIX narrated by Jane Lynch, takes a closer look at what life is like for LGBT people in Russia and at the convergence of sports, human rights and activism that took place during the Sochi Olympics earlier this year. As the film's synopsis notes, "LGBT athletes and activists [had to] choose whether to risk their own safety by speaking out against Russia's anti-gay laws." The doc follows out figure skater and commentator Johnny Weir and official US Olympic delegate Billie Jean King as they come to Sochi and meet a 17-year-old gay Russian named Vlad who details the tragic truths of the hardships faced by LGBT people in one of the world's most virulently anti-gay nations. The film also features Jason Collins, Stephen Fry, Greg Louganis, Blake Skjellerup and Mark Tewksbury.

Watch young Vlad talk about his experience of Russia's hatred for the LGBT community, along with his meeting Weir and King along with a trailer for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

The documentary will debut on EPIX on October 29 at 8 PM. 

Bjk

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IOC Adds Anti-Discrimination Clause to Olympic Host City Contract

RussiaFollowing the international backlash against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) handling of the human rights crisis in Russia specifically as it pertained to the nation's hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympiad in Sochi, the IOC announced today it would add a new non-discrimination clause to its host city contract that would uphold Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter 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."

From LGBT activist group All Out: 

Rings“This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated,” said Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out...

According to IOC Sports Director, Christopher Dubi, the new clause will include “the prohibition of any form of discrimination, using the wording of Fundamental Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter." This clause will ensure that future host cities must abide by international human rights standards in order to host the games, including the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and athletes...

In a letter from [omitted] Dubi, the IOC stated that the changes to the host city contract “are the result of the experience gained by the IOC in previous editions of the Olympic Games." He explained that the changes are aimed at “addressing certain potential concerns for candidate cities and future host cities, in the spirit of good faith and cooperation, and taking into consideration certain comments made by the candidate cities.“


Tom Daley Dressed Up, Stripped Down for 2015: VIDEO

Daley

Tom Daley offered viewers of his YouTube channel a preview of his 2015 calendar today and most folks will be looking forward to whatever month he's previewing above.

The British Olympian diver also recently shared some clips of a recent trip to Los Angeles in which he's seen frolicking along Hollywood Boulevard and playing in a friend's pool with his GoPro - though there's no Dustin Lance Black to be found in either of them.

Check them out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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