( San Francisco, CA, December 9, 2014 )Today, during a meeting in Monaco, the 127th Session of the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) voted to revise the IOC's nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation. The nondiscrimination proposal was part of a larger series of reforms to the Olympic charter, known as Principle Six.
"The IOC should be applauded for taking action to protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual Olympic athletes. However, we are disappointed that the revised policy does not include gender identity or expression, especially since the IOC has a participation policy for transgender athletes," said National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project Director Helen Carroll. "Transgender athletes face persecution and discrimination, and we hope the IOC adds these important protections to the revised policy."
Principle Six of the IOC charter has been rewritten to read: "The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Olympic Charter shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."
Added Carroll: "This has been a long time coming. The important fact is that nondiscrimination of gay, lesbian, and bisexual athletes is now on the books as policy and a criteria for choosing Olympic sites for the games. The world will now be watching to see if a strong implementation of this policy is effective and actually safeguards our athletes across the world."
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org .