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.”
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.”