The Russian government has passed laws that restrict the rights of gay people in Russia and discriminates against them. This has severely damaged the quality of life of gay people living in and visiting Russia and has lead to arrests and violent attacks on many people.
The Olympic Charter commits the IOC “to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement”. It is quite conceivable that members of the Olympic family and spectators could be arrested or assaulted simply for saying that they support gay rights, carrying a rainbow flag or because they are thought to be acting in a gay manner. No person can truly enjoy their time at the Winter Olympic if they are in constant fear that they may be harassed, beaten or arrested just for being themselves.
The IOC must use the opportunity of this high profile event to act to demonstrate clearly its concern over and objection to discrimination.
This petition calls upon the IOC to act -
• to make clear and highly visual statements about its opposition to discrimination through creating gay venues, encouraging gay athletes, team members and spectators to be open about their sexuality and reasserting the IOC’s commitment to act against discrimination
• to encourage gay athletes to make their presence known and all athletes to show their opposition to discrimination in what they say, what they wear and what they do
• to defend the rights of spectators to promote their opposition to discrimination in non-violent ways