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. 


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hey, i am just going to speak my mind, i am gay and when i see bullshit like this, it pisses me off and makes me want to cry, i am 17 and out. iv had it a little rough. for the most part, i am accepted at school, but there are the haters, they are there, and they hurt, Russia is one of them. they spread propoganda shit like this. it really pisses me off. i am very actave in LGBT rights. when i see us getting shot down... no its too much. i have had enough. some one need to tell Russia that its time to change. Its OK to be Gay!!!

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Don't throw the Olympic flag in my face and expect us to forget our principles. The Olympic Games continue to mutate into such an overblown hypocritical INDUSTRY year after year. It may have been a venue where all the nations' best AMATEUR athletes competed under an umbrella of peace and good will. Today the sponsoring nations, media, and the athletes themselves gleefully sell out to any corporate/commercial interest. How many corporate logos and commercials are we bombarded with during the Games? Yet an athlete who wants to speak freely is not welcome or threatened with Draconian prosecution?

Our LGBT athletes and other oppressed athletes are supposed to go mute and go back into the closet just so Putin's Russia can self promote themselves (and don't think they won't)? What if those athletes are already widely known to be out or hold a particular undesirable opinion, will that be enough to have them suffer Putin's barbarism? We have to remain silent so the IOC can rake in millions (or billions)?

You might argue that it is the athletes that only get punished in the end. They train non stop and compete in events all the around the world every year in order to gain the chance to attend the Olympics once every four years. Those events, most of which are held in friendly countries, get next to no coverage or support and are where the true amateur athletes get a chance. Its time we focus attention to those events, which are very often local and affordable. Boycott Putin's Russia, the bloated IOC, and the immoral corporations that fund them.

i am pretty sure in the next olympice the amout of competetor will increase in high . . . learn more

This is almost as fun to watch as the comments on a Yahoo! article.

Love is not a political statement.  The IOC needs to evolve.

Praise this person!! 

Love is not a political statement.  The IOC needs to evolve.

"The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of

practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which

requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."  PAGE 10.

Apparently this only applies when the IOC feels like enforcing it.


The Winter Olympics is my fave sporting event followed a close second by the summer Olympics but I doubt I will bother with the 2014 games! The IOC want to punish people for standing up to Russia yet reward Russia with the benefits of extra income generated by tourism ect! I understand it can't be simple for them! I'm sure it's too late in the day to change to another venue but the news report I want to read is of the IOC pledging to support the athletes and not condemn them! What kind of message does it send to Russia! It tells them they are right with their twisted viewpoints on homosexuality! 

The IOC is also extremely anti-Semitic, and they tried to cover up the Munich massacre committed by the Arab terrorists.

Sorry Pierce.  I cannot imagine enjoying an event knowing that people's human rights are being violated by being told to be quiet. A number of the IOC reps come from nations where being queer will land a person in prison is it any wonder they will stand against this ?!  Please do not hide your head in the sand if Russia is not challenged on this it will continue.  There are enough places in the world that being LBGTI will land a person in prison or worse we do not need another.

Non political, non religious, what about human rights?The exchange of culture and the  love of sport and health?

yes you´re right. how can we enjoy such big intercultural sport events and how can we look in the mirror if we just say nothing?

Oh so they will enforce THAT part of the IOC charter, but the rule that a city hosting the Olympics must maintain positive media representation, no that they can just ignore.

Wow!!!  I just look at the Charter and under the Fundamental Principles of Olympism page 11,  There is this:

6. 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


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