- IOC Media RelationsIOC Media Relations
International Olympic Committee : Postpone The 2014 Sochi Games Until Russian LGBT Rights Are Restored
"Build a better world by promoting the Olympic Truce and using sport to forge friendship among the athletes, young people and communities," is a hallmark motto that the International Olympic Committee has selected for its "Peace Through Sport" mission, which is sadly in complete contrast to the outright war being waged in Russia on its LGBT citizens and visitors as we speak.
The Russian government has passed draconian laws that prohibit the freedoms of LGBT citizens and visitors to the point that even speaking in favour of LGBT rights can lead to huge fines, imprisonment and physical assault by police and hate groups.
In 2012 and 2013, gay pride marches in Moscow were overrun by anti gay protestors and police who viciously and savagely assaulted, beat and attacked peaceful marchers. Many were arrested and imprisoned simply for being in attendance.
The laws passed by Russian law makers, and signed into the books by President Vladimir Putin put not only the lives of Russian citizens in deep jeopardy but also of those visiting Russia who belong to the LGBT community. The laws that were passed can lead to visitors and tourists being imprisoned, fined and possibly jailed, and with the entire world making travel plans for the Olympics this puts not only spectators but Olympic athletes in severe danger during the games.
In 2014, Russia will take the spotlight and be hosting one of the most respected and revered events in human history that is built on a foundation of peace, international diplomacy and sportsmanship. However, in the shadow of that spotlight will be the blood, tears and oppression of Russia's LGBT community and the constant threat that any openly gay athlete competing in the games could be arrested and imprisoned at any moment.
Russia's choice to pass such broadly sweeping and deplorable laws against its people and in essence the entire world, should not be rewarded with continuation of the 2014 Olympic games. Until Russia changes its laws, and stops supporting the legalized war against the global LGBT community, the 2014 games should be postponed indefinitely.
For more information on the state of LGBT rights in Russia please read these links:
- IOC Media Relations
IOC Media Relations
The rights of the LGBT community in Russia are under attack, as well as those of those visiting the country during the Olympics.
The IOC simply cannot let the Olympics take place in a country that does not foster peace and understanding for its citizens and its visitors.
Until Russia scraps the new laws signed into their law books that allow for the persecution, assault, and imprisonment of their LGBT citizens and LGBT visitors, I ask that you postpone the 2014 Sochi games indefinitely.
If there is even one tear, one voice stifled or one drop of blood spilled on an LGBT person or LGBT supporter during the Olympics, it will be on the hands of the IOC, and will forever tarnish the Olympic name.
Please, ask Russia to do the right thing, and take their games away until they do so.
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