Over 100,000 tell IOC: No more Olympic Games in countries with anti-gay laws

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

More than 100,000 people have signed an All Out petition calling on the International Olympic Committee to make sure that future Olympic events are not held in countries with anti-gay laws.

LGBT campaign group All Out wants the IOC to overhaul its selection process, citing the controversy that surrounded the Winter Games in Sochi over Russia’s law prohibiting so-called gay ‘propaganda’.

All Out says it delivered its message before Tuesday’s deadline for public submissions on “Olympic Agenda 2020,” IOC President Thomas Bach’s project for reforms that will be voted on in December in Monaco.

More than 74,000 members of All Out put their name to a petition delivered to the IOC.

A further 40,000 sent their own submissions directly to the IOC, according to All Out.

“Russia’s extreme anti-gay laws and violence were largely ignored by the International Olympic Committee throughout the Sochi Olympics. There must be basic, minimum standards to ensure that Olympic Host Countries protect athletes, tourists, and citizens of every country,” said Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out.

“It’s time for the Olympics to change the rules and make sure that all future Games follow Principle 6 of the Olympic charter – ensuring non-discrimination for all.”

He added: “No country has a perfect human rights record but potential Olympic hosts should be held to the highest standards of the Olympic Charter.

“Countries with laws designed to discriminate against or attack the dignity or human rights of anyone – including lesbian, gay, bi and trans people — are clearly inconsistent with the Olympic Charter and should not be given the honour and privilege of hosting the Olympic Games.”

Thomas Bach replaced Jacques Rogge as IOC president in September last year.

In a move designed to appease critics, Mr Bach introduced protest zones at the Sochi Games for ”people who want to express their opinion or want to demonstrate for or against something.”

Ahead of the Games in February, Mr Bach said he welcomed discussions about the issue of Russia’s anti-gay legislation, but that the IOC cannot act as a “world government” to “impose measures on a sovereign state.”