Five Ring Circus

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The Olympics, Politics, and Human Rights

There is a good editorial over on Outsports, which is a sports blog whose target audience is the LGBT community, on a recent push to get the IOC to ban nations where homosexuality is illegal from the Olympics.  I agree with author Cyd Zeigler, Jr’s conclusion that the Olympics is not the best venue for politics, but I do think that some reaction would be warranted.

It is the opinion of this author (full disclosure: this author is a gay man, and has absolutely no chance of ever making an Olympic team) that the IOC needs to take human rights issues under consideration when choosing host countries.  The selections of Beijing and Sochi as host cities in countries with questionable LGBT rights records raised that red flag, and the continued submission of Doha, Qatar as a possible summer games host city raises many red flags, both for LGBT people and women in general.

In selecting host cities, the IOC must ensure that all of the participants will be safe and comfortable, not just the majority of them, and we hope that the IOC makes sure to consider the growing number of out LGBT athletes, coaches, and team staff when selecting host cities.

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