All 193 United Nations Member States adopted the Olympic Truce Resolution maintaining language protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The resolution, which passed by consensus, included the contested reference to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the Olympic Charter. The non-discrimination clause is housed in Principle 6 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the Olympic Games.
The Truce is negotiated every two years ahead of the Olympics, and promotes “civility among nations” during the Olympics and the one week preceding and one week following the game. This year, a reference to Principle 6 came under attack, with Egypt and Russia trying to remove reference to the Principle in the Truce. These efforts however failed, due to cross regional State support for the inclusion of Principle 6 in the Truce.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, commented on the outcome saying,
“While Egypt and Russia tried to export and sanction discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual olympians, they failed. States decided to send a clear message that there is no place for discrimination at the Olympics. We’re thankful for civil society and for the mobilization that took place to ensure that reference to Principle 6 stayed in the Truce. Today, we were victorious.”
In a joint campaign by OutRight Action International and Athlete Ally, professional athletes all around the world came out in support of the inclusion of Principle 6, releasing a letter calling on states to respect non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. In a press release circulated last week US Olympian and WNBA star Breanna Stewart stated,
“Sport and society thrive when we embrace the diversity of our world. The Olympic spirit is grounded in inclusion, fair play and solidarity, and the explicit mention of Principle 6 within the Olympic Truce Resolution sends a clear message that we take these values seriously.