(Image Source: Facebook / Sochi 2014 Winter Games)

 

 

BY NICHOLE CARTMELL

 

 

Russia’s anti-gay policies have attracted international outrage as the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi draw closer. In a stance against those laws, the U.S. Olympic Committee has added a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation to its code of conduct.

 

The policy change was announced Friday during the annual U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly. The change can be found in the “Commitment to Integrity” section of the USOC Code of Conduct.  (Via United States Olympic Committee)

 

It now requires “... fair treatment and equal opportunity, free from discrimination or harassment of any type, including, without limitation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or otherwise.” (Via Buzzfeed)

 

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting so-called “gay propaganda” around minors. Given its broad language, observers say that meant steep fines for things like a gay couple holding hands or even flying a rainbow colored flag. (Via CNN)

 

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said, while it is not their role to advocate for a change in Russia, Putin’s law goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. And for that reason American athletes have their support.

 

He said, “We have told our athletes, your athletes, where we stand and we have given them the freedom to express themselves in the run-up to the Games however they see fit.” (Via Mashable)

 

In his speech, Blackmun pointed to athletes like skier Bode Miller and runner Nick Symmonds as examples of the USOC’s acceptance. Last week Miller told ESPN:

 

“The fact that we are all human beings at this point and that there are people in the world who are so out to lunch in my mind, so intolerant basically, ignorant you know is embarrassing to me.”

 

The International Olympic Committee has said the Russian laws would not interfere with the games. But Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko doesn’t appear to be on the same page. He said in August,

 

“No one is forbidding an athlete with non-traditional sexual orientation from coming to Sochi, but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable." (Via RIA Novosti)

 

Nonetheless, the Winter Games are set to begin in Sochi February 7.

U.S. Olympic Committee Add Sexual Orientation to Policy

by Nichole Cartmell
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Transcript
Oct 13, 2013

U.S. Olympic Committee Add Sexual Orientation to Policy

(Image Source: Facebook / Sochi 2014 Winter Games)

 

 

BY NICHOLE CARTMELL

 

 

Russia’s anti-gay policies have attracted international outrage as the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi draw closer. In a stance against those laws, the U.S. Olympic Committee has added a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation to its code of conduct.

 

The policy change was announced Friday during the annual U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly. The change can be found in the “Commitment to Integrity” section of the USOC Code of Conduct.  (Via United States Olympic Committee)

 

It now requires “... fair treatment and equal opportunity, free from discrimination or harassment of any type, including, without limitation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or otherwise.” (Via Buzzfeed)

 

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law prohibiting so-called “gay propaganda” around minors. Given its broad language, observers say that meant steep fines for things like a gay couple holding hands or even flying a rainbow colored flag. (Via CNN)

 

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said, while it is not their role to advocate for a change in Russia, Putin’s law goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. And for that reason American athletes have their support.

 

He said, “We have told our athletes, your athletes, where we stand and we have given them the freedom to express themselves in the run-up to the Games however they see fit.” (Via Mashable)

 

In his speech, Blackmun pointed to athletes like skier Bode Miller and runner Nick Symmonds as examples of the USOC’s acceptance. Last week Miller told ESPN:

 

“The fact that we are all human beings at this point and that there are people in the world who are so out to lunch in my mind, so intolerant basically, ignorant you know is embarrassing to me.”

 

The International Olympic Committee has said the Russian laws would not interfere with the games. But Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko doesn’t appear to be on the same page. He said in August,

 

“No one is forbidding an athlete with non-traditional sexual orientation from coming to Sochi, but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable." (Via RIA Novosti)

 

Nonetheless, the Winter Games are set to begin in Sochi February 7.

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