Protest planned over anti-gay Olympic states

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A protest is being planned outside an International Olympic Committee meeting this weekend to petition it to disqualify states which discriminate against citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation in sport.

“Our protest coincides with a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive, which takes place at the Hilton Hotel this Sunday,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“The IOC should disqualify from the Olympics countries that discriminate against athletes on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion/belief, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Olympic Charter prohibits discrimination in sport but it is not being enforced by the IOC.”

Peter Tatchell’s open letter to Lord Coe and Jacques Rogge sets out examples of discrimination and his appeal for action.

The Olympic Charter states: “Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Mr Tatchell said: “The IOC and LOCOG have a duty to uphold the Olympic Charter’s commitment to equality for all in sport. They are failing to do so.”

The protest is calling on the IOC to enforce the charter by requiring all competing nations to sign a pledge that they do not discriminate in sport on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion/belief, sexual orientation or gender identity. If they refuse to sign, protesters say they should be denied participation in the games.

Mr Tatchell would also like ake a public statement that LGBT athletes are welcome at London 2012 and that participating nations must not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Further details can be found at the Peter Tatchell Foundation website. has approached London 2012 organisers for comment.