This post is also available in: Español
The United Nations is currently working on the Olympic Truce Resolution, which calls for peace among all nations during the Olympics. However, Russia and Egypt tried to pull a fast one by removing all references to Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, the rule banning anti-LGBTQ discrimination, from the Truce Resolution.
Principle 6 is the anti-discrimination part of the Olympic Charter. In 2015, protections for LGBTQ people were added in response to Russia’s attacks on the queer community in the leadup to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Russia and Egypt said that unless all explicit references to Principle 6 is removed from the Olympic Truce Resolution, they would refuse to sign. Luckily, the United States, France and Brazil blocked their efforts.
If Russia and Egypt had been successful, they could have kept LGBTQ protections out of all future Olympic Truce Resolutions. Backing down could have also threatened other future U.N. resolutions dealing with queer rights. As Jessica Stern, OutRight Action International Executive Director, put it:
Egypt and Russia are not simply fighting over symbolic language but over the levels of violence governments are allowed to use against LGBT people. After systematic attacks on LGBT people in their own countries, they are now setting their sights on promoting violence and discrimination in every country of the world. The Olympics Games are supposed to be a time for sport, technique, pride and community, not for politicking, hatred and violence.
Russia and Egypt are known anti-LGBTI campaigners at the UN, and they are prepared to sacrifice the Olympic spirit to do it. We cannot allow this type of bullying to target LGBT people or undermine the principle of global community.
Egypt has been increasingly anti-LGBTQ of late. Egypt recently arrested 34 people for waving a rainbow flag at a concert. A new law has been proposed that would see homosexuality become an arrestable offense.