International Olympic Committee Officially Adds Sexual-Orientation Protection To Its Policies, But Is It Enough?

olympics620This week, the International Olympic Committee made history when it announced it would add sexual orientation to the list of traits for which an athlete cannot be discriminated against.

The decision, which received unanimous support by committee members, came after the issue of discrimination against LGB athletes arouse during the 2014 Sochi Olympics due to Russia’s homophobic and discriminatory laws.

Andre Banks, Executive Director and co-founder of All Out, an international non-profit organization devoted to promoting love and equality around the world, called I.O.C.’s decision a “pivotal moment for equality in sport.”

getty-winter-olympics“This gain was made possible because of the global outcry, including from hundreds of thousands of All Out members, about Russia’s antigay law at the time of the Sochi Olympics,” Banks said.

Athlete Ally, an organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports, also applauded I.O.C.’s decision.

“There is no greater sign of progress in combating homophobia in sports than to have the oldest organized athletic competition in the history of the world saying enough is enough,” Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally, said in a press release. “The I.O.C. took a major step today recognizing that the practice of sport is a human right and that every individual must be able to practice without discrimination.”

While the I.O.C. certainly made notable progress by including sexual orientation in its non-discrimination language, it failed to include gender-identity. Athlete Ally now hopes to remedy that.

“We’ve seen significant progress today, but the job of the I.O.C. in achieving full equality is not done,” Taylor said. “The I.O.C. needs to include gender-identity in its Principal 6 language and Athlete Ally will continue to work with itscoalition partners to encourage the organization to do just that.”

Related stories:

Vladimir Putin Expected The Olympics To Glorify Him. Here’s How LGBT Issues Rained On His Parade

Johnny Weir To Host Secretly-Shot Documentary Following LGBT Athletes At Sochi Olympics

AT&T Becomes First Olympics Sponsor To Condemn Russian Homophobia

Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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