Jonathan Higbee's picture

Olympic Committee Confirms It Will Punish Athletes Who Support LGBT Rights In Russia

The International Olympic Committee has confirmed a fear that has overcome the LGBT and sports communities this month: a provision in the IOC charter that calls for the punishment of athletes who make political or religious displays will be enforced during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When asked if the IOC planned to create a "safe space" of sorts for LGBT and allied athletes, journalists, contractors and other foreigners visiting Russia for the Olympics, officials told Gay Star News, "Regarding your suggestions, the IOC has a clear rule laid out in the Olympic Charter (Rule 50) which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration."

While we're on the subject of rule 50 in the Olympic Charter (which states "no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas"), the IOC has confirmed that it will indeed enforce it against displays of support for the LGBT community at the games in Sochi.

"This rule has been in place for many years and applied when necessary," the IOC told GSN. "In any case, the IOC would treat each case individually and take a sensible approach depending on what was said or done."

Gay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup has already pledged, along with other athletes, to show Pride during the Opening Ceremonies by wearing a rainbow pin, a display that now may have him in trouble with Russian authorities and the Olympic Committee. 

Comments

Or how about the games shouldn't be about your sexuality but about your ability to excel at said sport. What does your sexuality have anything to do with your ability to compete?  I am gay and I am sick of others in the gay community CONSTANTLY making everything a damn political statement. You don't like the rules? Don't compete. No one is forcing you to. You want to compete? Then abide by the rules and show how great of an athlete you are since that is what the Olympics are all about anyway.

@Jason - you might be gay but you are still Ignorant and uninformed.  Your inability to feel compassion is astounding especially that you say you are gay.  We are fighting this because our gay brothers and sisters are being killed and abused.  So your point is for us to keep silent and who cares if they keep abusing and killing our LGBT family. Pathetic fool.

And by you resorting to name calling you are clearly an example of why the gay community is looked at as a joke.  Just another child throwing a temper tantrum and calling names instead of coming up with real solutions.  I simply stated that if you don't like it then don't go.  Pretty sure that is the same as everyone saying to boycott. I strongly believe that your sexual identity should have nothing to do with your performance as an athlete. It is just another identifier to cause division. So now instead of athletes we have gay and straight athletes. Then it will be black gay or straight, white gay or straight, Latino gay or straight...etc.  Do I think the new laws in Russia are disgusting and ridiculous? ABSOLUTELY! So to assume I don't have compassion because I said if you don't like it then don't participate is ridiculous. I never said to keep silent. Some gay athletes have asked for us to support them in their decision to put their sexuality aside and support them as they compete. So are you going to not show compassion for these men and women who have worked their entire lives toward this goal and then not support them because they won't throw a lifetime of work out the window?  When does it stop? Just because our views and methods differ, it does not mean that our hope and goal for equality for everyone is different.

Ok...since the point clearly went way over your head, allow me to elaborate Its not about wearing Pride clothes or being decked out in rainbow gear. You can be arrested on suspicion of being gay. Any athletes which have come out/are openly gay are unsafe in the whole of Russia. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not get sodomized with beer bottles and then killed because someone suspects that im not 100% hetero. So, in short, it is a human rights thing and nkt just "ugh them gays and their political statements". One should be able to go places wihout fear of, you know, DEATH.

So travel to any slum or ghetto in America and then repeat this same rhetoric and see if it has the same affect. I do agree that people should be able to live or travel places without fear of death but a little common sense tells you to not go to dangerous places. So if you don't want to get sodomized by beer bottles then don't go to Russia where we clearly know that their laws currently do not protect our LGBT family.  I feel like I am speaking to my niece by repeating myself over and over on such a simple point. If you don't like it then don't go. It really is that simple. This generation of  "No child left behind" and everyone gets to participate crap is just ridiculous. I live in the real world where that is just a day dream. Bad people exist. Everyone can't win. We don't always get our way.

Do you have any suggestions about how to end the Prejudice related bloodshed in RUSSIA?

Do you have any suggestions on how to end it here in the US? I have a friend who was beaten and raped by "straight" guys because they found out he was gay. He is a soldier in the US Army. I have another friend who gets threatened by his redneck neighbor almost on a daily basis and the police won't do anything about it. I am pretty sure my worries are a little closer to home. Speaking from an international view I ask you this: Are our current methods working? I can say without any hesitation that is a resounding NO. So if everyone would stop shouting for ten minutes and come together and have a real conversation where we don't resort to name calling and our emotions don't get the better of us, I honestly believe that we could come up with real solutions as a community that would work.

Do you have any suggestions on how to end it here in the US? I have a friend who was beaten and raped by "straight" guys because they found out he was gay. He is a soldier in the US Army. I have another friend who gets threatened by his redneck neighbor almost on a daily basis and the police won't do anything about it. I am pretty sure my worries are a little closer to home. Speaking from an international view I ask you this: Are our current methods working? I can say without any hesitation that is a resounding NO. So if everyone would stop shouting for ten minutes and come together and have a real conversation where we don't resort to name calling and our emotions don't get the better of us, I honestly believe that we could come up with real solutions as a community that would work.

This is unbelievable!  The IOC does not support its athletes.  It punishes them!!!!!

The  IOC is correct we must abide by the laws of the host Nation, it may be unjust to us but it is their laws not ours. You all would expect other Nations to obey our laws, even though they may not be correct to them!!(think about it). The games are just that; games to show different people and nationalities and their talents.  No Politics NO Religion, that is what the games are designed to be.

francespisces's picture

yes it sad that they will not take stand but punish others.

Human rights are not political or religious! And a Rainbow is a rainbow, or will the arrest the rainbow, if it rains? So what if I like things rainbow colored and I am so nervous, that I must hold hands with a friend. How the hell do they want to know if I'm gay or not by just looking at me? o.O

What about rule 4 which states the IOC will "Cooperate with the competent public or private organizations and authorities in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace" or rule 6 which states the committee will act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement? Seems they are picking which of their rules best suits them.

The IOC to gay and lesbian Russians: We don't care about you.

What I don't understand is why is everyone trying to make a stand in Russia? That doesn't make sense...It would be much easier and "cleaner" and make a better point just to boycott them all together. It would certainly minimize the violence which is sure to occur.. So what if Russia gets all of the medals... It won't mean anything if they are uncontested... Sometimes it is better to make a statement by not protesting, by choosing your battles wisely...Why not hold an unofficial winter games in a country that has already hosted them, so that the cost to do so would be minimized, for all of the athletes who do not wish to participate in the Russian BS? It would still increase sales for that city, the athletes and coaches would still have to pay for plane tickets and lodging..Nothing lost, but everything gained.

I love this idea and fully stand behind it! Vancouver still has all its venues up and running. Minimal costs etc. I agree, why even go to Russia?

everything is political ... or ... holding hands with anyone is not political ... will they arrest straight people for holding hands?

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