UN Member States Maintain Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation in Olympic Truce Resolution
(New York - November 13, 2017) Today, all 193 United Nations Member States adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution maintaining language protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The resolution, which passed by consensus, included the contested reference to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the Olympic Charter. The non-discrimination clause is housed in Principle 6 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the Olympic Games.
The Truce is negotiated every two years ahead of the Olympics, and promotes "civility among nations" during the Olympics and the one week preceding and one week following the game. This year, a reference to Principle 6 came under attack, with Egypt and Russia trying to remove reference to the Principle in the Truce. These efforts however failed, due to cross regional State support for the inclusion of Principle 6 in the Truce.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, commented on the outcome saying,
"While Egypt and Russia tried to export and sanction discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual Olympians, they failed. 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."
In a joint campaign by OutRight Action International and Athlete Ally, professional athletes all around the world came out in support of the inclusion of Principle 6, releasing a letter calling on states to respect non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. In a press release circulated last week US Olympian and WNBA star Breanna Stewart stated,
"Sport and society thrive when we embrace the diversity of our world. The Olympic spirit is grounded in inclusion, fair play and solidarity, and the explicit mention of Principle 6 within the Olympic Truce Resolution sends a clear message that we take these values seriously."
Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally, commented on the favorable resolution, saying,
"Today, we're thankful for UN Member States around the world who stood up for universal values such as diversity, respect, inclusion and fair play. The decision to keep an explicit reference of Principle 6 within the Olympic Truce Resolution is an important step for the full dignity and protection of the LGBTQ community around the world. We thank the athletes who spoke out in the lead up to such an important vote."
Every day around the world, LGBTIQ people's human rights and dignity are abused in ways that shock the conscience. The stories of their struggles and their resilience are astounding, yet remain unknown-or willfully ignored-by those with the power to make change. OutRight Action International, founded in 1990 as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, works alongside LGBTIQ people in the Global South, with offices in six countries, to help identify community-focused solutions to promote policy for lasting change. We vigilantly monitor and document human rights abuses to spur action when they occur. We train partners to expose abuses and advocate for themselves. Headquartered in New York City, OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in New York that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTIQ people.
Athlete Ally's mission is to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBT equality. Since its founding in 2011, Athlete Ally has attracted more than 150 professional athletes and Olympians, and teams at more than 50 U.S. colleges and universities to fight for LGBT equality. Athlete Ally worked with both the NBA and ACC on their historic moves out of North Carolina, as well as helped the NCAA develop its survey that guides the selection of championship cities based on their inclusive policies toward the LGBT community. It was one of the leading organizations that campaigned for Principle 6 to be adopted within the Olympic Charter in 2014 with the P6 effort.