Amid a storm of controversy surrounding the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will soon choose the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games, and is being urged to use LGBT inclusivity as a key deciding factor.
LGBT sports groups in the US have already begun to put pressure on the IOC to choose Madrid, ahead of Istanbul and Tokyo, as it is the most LGBT inclusive of the three.
The IOC will make its decision on 7 September by a vote, and Athlete Ally in the US has started a petition urging members to vote for Madrid.
It says: “We urge the members of the IOC casting their votes to select the city that clearly demonstrates that LGBT rights are human rights. With 10,000 signatures to this petition we will deliver a strong message to the IOC members: persecution of the LGBT community and the Olympics can never again co-exist. Choose Madrid!”
There are many deciding factors in choosing a venue for Olympic events, including cost, human rights and marketability.
The IOC has promised to ensure that no anti-gay discrimination shall take place during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. This is despite Russian lawmakers confirming that Russia’s anti-gay legislation shall not be suspended during the Sochi Games.