Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has once again called on the International Olympic Committee to take decisive action against homophobic and transphobic discrimination, ahead of an LGBT sports event planned for this Saturday.
The Pride House public meeting is taking place at CA House, Limehouse, East London from 11am to 12 noon. It’s hoped that LGBT athletes and equality-supporting members of the public will attend. It’s being organised by Pride Sports UK; Federation of Gay Games; the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation and has the support of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
Marc Naimark, Federation of Gay Games VP for external affairs, hopes that Saturday’s meeting will encourage the IOC to show leadership and said: “In 2010, the FGG launched a campaign to call on the IOC to respect the principles of the Olympic Charter that reject all forms of discrimination in sport.
“Since then little has changed. The IOC claims the leadership of worldwide sport: we believe they need to take concrete action to make this principle a reality for LGBT athletes and coaches.”
Mr Tatchell, who is a guest speaker for Saturday’s event remains equally critical: “The Olympic Charter prohibits all discrimination in sport. This, in effect, includes a ban on homophobic and transphobic discrimination. Yet the IOC takes no action to stop it.
“In more than 150 countries, LGBT athletes have to hide their sexuality to get selected for their country’s Olympic squad; otherwise they risk not only non-selection but also employment discrimination, police harassment and possibly imprisonment”.
Paul Brummitt, secretary of Gay & Lesbian International Sport Federation added: “At each of our OutGames’s human rights conferences, we return to the same issues: the situation of homophobia in many countries, and in particular in sport, deprives countless men and women of access to sport.
“These Olympics, a model of inclusion in the host committee, are an opportunity for a real call to action.”
Saturday’s meeting is part of the wider Pride House festival, which is taking place from 3 to 7 August.
Plans for Sir Elton John to headline a Pride House concert on London’s Clapham Common were cancelled earlier this summer due to financial problems.