International Olympic Committee Forbids Athletes to Speak Against Russian Antigay Laws

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An anti-gay protester clashes with a gay rights activist during a Gay Pride event in St. Petersbur

If you thought the International Olympic Committee is on our side, think again.

From the Advocate:

The International Olympic Committee says it plans to stop any athlete from showing support of LGBT Russians at the Sochi Winter Games, reports Gay Star News.

However, the IOC claims this isn’t due to Russia’s recently passed antigay laws banning so-called “homosexual propaganda,” but an enforcement of the rules that govern the Olympics.

Rule 50 of the IOC’s charter states “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”   

“The IOC has a clear rule laid out in the Olympic Charter, which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration,” an IOC spokeswoman told Gay Star News. “This rule has been in place for many years and applied when necessary.

According to the cited rule, athletes found in violation could face “disqualification or withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned.”

This means any athlete who is seen holding hands with a member of the same sex or wearing a rainbow pin at any point during the games in Sochi would not only face potential fines, jail time, and deportation under Russian law but also punishment from the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC spokeswoman also told Gay Star News that athletes who violated rule 50 of the Olympic charter by showing support for the LGBT community would be evaluated on an individual basis and “sensible approach” would be taken “depending on what was said or done.”

So there you have it, folks. The IOC found a wiggle clause to accommodate Russia’s violent antigay law. For me, I will boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter games.

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14 Responses to International Olympic Committee Forbids Athletes to Speak Against Russian Antigay Laws

  1. I will boycott, too.

    Unfortunately, as much as we want to believe that athletes are just hard-working, driven and goal-oriented folks who want to achieve their dreams, at the end of the day there is money involved. They have potential endorsement deals to win or lose and the future to consider. For most of the athletes, competing in the Olympic Games is the high point of their careers.

    They are going to WORK. And this winter they’re scheduled to work in Russia where violent antigay laws have been highly publicized.

    It is my hope that the ATHLETES will boycott the Sochi games and choose to work elsewhere.

  2. Unconditional1 says:

    Seems like the perfect function/opportunity for ALL supporters of LGBT rights to boycott and send a primitive, and unevolved Country a (financial) message. Save your travel monies for other worldly travels and watch the games from the peaceful serenity of one’s home.

  3. DMason says:

    This Olympics is a disaster. When the host country can’t protect the safety of the athletes, then we have a very serious problem. Why the IOC passed on Austria for Russia I will never understand.

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m very angry at the IOC over this.

  5. Scott Dancer says:

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) receives millions of dollars from trans-national, corporate sponsors. So called “partners”. From NBC, McDonald’s, Nike, Coke-a-Cola, Dow, Visa and Samsung.

    The IOC isn’t going to give up this revenue flow for something as lowly as anti-gay legislation in the host nation. If a few gay athletes get spat on or roughed up, who cares? We’re their sacrificial.

    Personally, I have zero interest in the vile spectacle and I don’t plan to watch a single event. I will not be party to it.

  6. BeyondRedemption.... says:

    BOYCOTT!!!!!!

  7. Randy Arroyo says:

    I think it’s safe to call this a quid pro quo between the IOC and the Russian government. Sadly, the only solution we’re left with is a boycott. Don’t watch the games and drive their numbers into the toilet.

  8. Matteo says:

    Look what I just found?

    Canada’s Minister Of Immigration Encourages Gay Russians To Seek Asylum In Canada

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/canadas-minister-of-immigration-encourages-gay-russians-to-seek-asylum-in-canada/discrimination/2013/08/13/73136

  9. feminazi says:

    Scott Dancer – I think you hit the nail on the head. The Olympics are all about money and human rights and the safety of athletes just don’t factor into it. For the IOC to claim the games aren’t political is just so much nonsense. When have the Olympics not been political?

  10. Brigadoon says:

    Russia should lose its seat on the UN Security Council. That might wake them up.

  11. Pechanga says:

    Thanks for posting this. The IOC is every bit as homophobic as Putin and the Duma.

    I was looking forward to ’14 winter games but it looks like I will be watching something else. I can’t in all good conscious support institutionalized homophobia and shame on the U.S. corporate sponsors who turned a blind eye to the situation in Russia.

  12. Absolutely appalling. I usually live for the winter games, but I’m OUT [pun fully intended]

  13. dragonpuff says:

    So the IOC says no to basic human rights—huh? Boycott.

  14. retahyajyajav says:

    The IOC is in bed with Vladamir Putin and the homo haters in the Duma. Fuck them all! Boycott!

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