November 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
UN adopts gay-inclusive Olympics resolution

Olympics, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 13, 2017, unanimously adopted an Olympics resolution that includes a gay-inclusive reference to discrimination. (Photo by Leonard Zhukovsky; courtesy Bigstock)

The U.N. General Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted an Olympics resolution that includes a gay-inclusive reference to discrimination.

The “Olympic Truce Resolution” that calls for peace around the world around the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, specifically refers to the Olympic Charter’s nondiscrimination clause, which is known as Principle 6.

Egypt and Russia in recent weeks sought to remove the Principle 6 reference from the resolution because it specifically includes sexual orientation, religion, gender and other factors. The U.S., France and Brazil blocked these efforts.

“The Olympics is an event that should focus on what brings us together – friendly competition by the world’s best athletes – not what makes us different,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the Washington Blade earlier this month in a statement. “No athlete should face discrimination of any kind when representing their country in the games.”

The International Olympic Committee in late 2014 added sexual orientation to Principle 6 after Russia’s LGBT rights record — including a law banning the promotion of so-called gay propaganda to minors — overshadowed that year’s Winter Olympics that took place in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Brazil in 2015 spearheaded efforts to include a gay-inclusive Principle 6 reference in a resolution that was similar to the one the U.N. General Assembly adopted on Monday. It was approved ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics that took place in Rio de Janeiro.

“While Egypt and Russia tried to export and sanction discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual Olympians, they failed,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, on Monday in a statement her organization released after the resolution was adopted. “States decided to send a clear message that there is no place for discrimination at the Olympics. We’re thankful for civil society and for the mobilization that took place to ensure that reference to Principle 6 stayed in the truce. Today, we were victorious.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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