United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon condemned Russia’s anti-gay laws while addressing the International Olympic Committee on the eve of the Sochi Games’ Opening Ceremonies.
“I know that Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter enshrines the IOC’s opposition to any form of discrimination,” said Ban on Thursday. “We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been under heavy criticism from political leaders worldwide for his country’s discrimination and exclusion of LGBT individuals. Ban discussed the notion of human rights at the Black Sea Resort, saying “The United Nations stands strongly behind our own ‘free and equal’ campaign, and I look forward to working with the IOC, governments and other partners around the world to build societies of equality and tolerance. Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century.”
Athlete Ally has garnered over 5,200 signatures and built massive support for Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which makes it very clear that any kind of discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic movement. 52 Olympians and 14 professional athletes have called for the IOC to uphold Principle 6 ahead of competition in Sochi.
Anti-LGBT legislation is a universal issue, highlighted by the Winter Games. Athlete Ally is combating exclusionary practices by partnering with the Fair Games Project on a powerful LGBT public service announcement supporting global gay rights. Joining this delivery are the Russian Freedom Fund and CoPilot.
Advocates for international diversity can visibly voice their support for Principle 6 by going red. The Sochi Opening Ceremonies take place February 7 at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.