Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

U.S. Olympic Committee adds sexual orientation to non-discrimination policy

Friday, October 11, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The U.S. Olympic Committee board revised its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation, a nod to its disapproval of the Russian anti-gay law recently passed by the Olympic host country.

Scott Blackmun

Rick Bowmer, AP
Scott Blackmun

At his annual address to the USOC Assembly on Friday, CEO Scott Blackmun said the federation is not in the business of trying to influence Russian policy.

“The fact that we do not think it is our role to advocate for a change in the Russian law does not mean that we support the law, and we do not,” Blackmun said.

The board passed the measure Thursday, a week after chairman Larry Probst, a new member of the International Olympic Committee, said he would support a similar change to the IOC Olympic charter. Currently, it does not mention sexual orientation as a form of discrimination.

With the Sochi Olympics less than four months away, Blackmun said the USOC is seeking clarity from the IOC on what will and won’t be regarded as violations of the IOC rule against using the Olympic stage to make political protests or demonstrations.

Meantime, he said the USOC has given the athletes freedom to express themselves in the lead-up to the Games “however they see fit.”

Blackmun pointed to last week’s comments from Bode Miller, who said “I think it’s absolutely embarrassing that there’s countries and there’s people who are that intolerant and that ignorant,” as an example of the USOC’s tolerance of any opinion.

Probst said hosting a game on U.S. soil “is a priority” for the USOC.

Though he didn’t commit to a bid for the 2024 Olympics, he said the USOC “is far better positioned for success” than it has been in the past.

The USOC board has been exploring a possible bid, but doesn’t have to commit until late next year.

“We’re addressing all the important factors while seeking feedback from the worldwide community,” Probst said. “We are gathering as much inform ation as we can. We are sharing and we are listening and we believe we are on the right track.”

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: National Headlines

51 more reader comments:

  1. Good!!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:05pm
  2. FINALLY!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:06pm
  3. It’s about frickin’ time

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:06pm
  4. Nice seeing other NM people here.....

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:07pm
  5. Ditto

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:08pm
  6. As it should be.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:06pm
  7. This is great but how will this protect LGBTQ athletes next year in Russia?

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:07pm
  8. FUCK PUTIN ugh

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:34pm
  9. It won't. They are still being assholes.

    Replied on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:10pm
  10. With this, if Putin decides to push the issue and do something nasty, the Olympic Committee could lock out any Russian participation in the future.

    Replied on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:04am
  11. https://www.facebook.com/MariagePourTousSuisse

    Replied on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 10:54pm
  12. Yay !
    It’s about time !!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:08pm
  13. What about gender identity????

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:10pm
  14. Ill bet that they change venues if russia doesnt agree to these terms

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:11pm
  15. Agreed. Gender identity is equally important

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:11pm
  16. Nnikii Nefertity

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:12pm
  17. Awesome. Now gender identity.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:15pm
  18. How about gender non-discrimination for transgender folks? Soon I hope!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:19pm
  19. Too little too late. And this is the US Committee; NOT the IOC.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:20pm
  20. too little, too late

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:21pm
  21. Let the games begin!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:22pm
  22. It sends a clear message that any discrimination will not be tolerated. Let puntin try some shit now.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:23pm
  23. Too little, too late?….. But, a good thing

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:27pm
  24. Oh Shaun, how I hope you’re right. <3

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:36pm
  25. And yet the games will still be in Russia. That doesn’t make sense. Gay Olympic athletes will be put in danger just landing in Russia on a plane.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:40pm
  26. It’s still in Russia! Yes it’s a step forward but there’s still a long way to go… It shouldn’t be in Russia with their discrimination, makes me sick

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:43pm
  27. The Olympics are trying to gain our favor again by doing this after the fact. Just another company trying to apologize so its customer base doesn’t abandon them.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:46pm
  28. Hope other countries will follow

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:55pm
  29. About time!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:04pm
  30. then why are they still going to Russia? Once again, money overrules.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:09pm
  31. Bought time

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:30pm
  32. I still refuse to support the Olympics as long as they are held in that God forsaken country. This is just a tactic to keep the monies flowing! Don’t fall it.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:43pm
  33. good question!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:04pm
  34. That’s a step in the right direction…

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:25pm
  35. about time

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:30pm
  36. woot!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:42pm
  37. woot!

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:42pm
  38. please go like our new page and share it also! https://www.facebook.com/realfemsandstuds

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:46pm
  39. please go like our new page and share it also! https://www.facebook.com/realfemsandstuds

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 9:46pm
  40. good move.

    Posted on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 10:22pm
  41. Does this mean that if Putin refuses to repeal his homophobic laws, the IOC will reschedule the Olympics for another venue?

    Pretty words are no more than pretty words if there is not the strenth of conviction in their utterance.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:51am
  42. Let’s not forget their suit over “Gay Olympics.” They didn’t have a problem with other groups using the word . . . like Special Olympics, Senior Olympics, Handicap Olympics.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:11am
  43. That’s great but once again we leave behind the transgender community.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 3:44am
  44. CANCEL THE OLYMPICS! Move to another country, even if it means delaying by one year

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 8:00am
  45. but will allow one country to flaunt it’s mandate of equality for all? Shame on the ICO.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 9:00am
  46. one step at a time. . . one step at a time. . .

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 10:06am
  47. finally

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:16pm
  48. ’bout time!

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 3:21pm
  49. yay baby steps

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 4:14pm
  50. bout time

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 5:22pm
  51. Russia did not have this law against LGBTQ’s until after they were voted on to host the Winter Olympics. That in itself sound disqualify them.

    Posted on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 7:00pm