ON EVE OF SOCHI OLYMPICS, SCHUMER RELEASES LETTER TO IOC PRESIDENT IN SUPPORT OF PRINCIPLE 6 CAMPAIGN
brRussia Has Wide Array of Anti-Gay Laws; Citizens and Visitors Can Be Arrested for Pro-LGBT StatementsbrbrbrPrinciple 6 Campaign Is Way For Athletes, Spectators and Supporters to Use Principle of Equality In Olympics Governing Document to Speak Out Against Russias Anti-Gay LawsbrbrbrSchumer: I Urge IOC to Support Principle 6 Campaign And The Universal Principle of Equality and Human Dignity Upon Which It Is Basedbrbr
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today sent the following letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in support of the Principle 6 campaign. Principle 6 is a campaign inspired by the values of the Olympic charter. It is a way for athletes, spectators and global supporters to celebrate the Olympic principle of nondiscrimination and speak out against Russia's antigay laws before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
A copy of Senator Schumer's letter is below.
Dear President Bach:
As an avid sports fan, I eagerly await the commencement of the Sochi Olympics in Russia. The achievements that arise from the talent and dedication of the athletes never cease to inspire and amaze me. I appreciate, too, the unique international good will that is produced by the coming together of the world's best athletes.
As you know, due to the very unfortunate antigay laws recently passed by Russia, one issue that has taken special prominence at these games is the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes. Nondiscrimination towards LGBT individuals is something I know is important to the Olympic movement, as well. As Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter makes clear, "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement," and the IOC has confirmed that this includes sexual orientation. Unfortunately, however, it is not a principle that Russia - our winter Olympics host - equally values.
That is why I am proud to support the Principle 6 Campaign, which is uniting millions of athletes, fans, and supporters from around the United States and the world in celebrating the Olympic principle of nondiscrimination and calling for an end to Russia's antigay laws that have led to a wave of antigay violence throughout the country. It is a movement that is very clearly grounded in the Olympic tradition of acceptance and unity, and I stand with this campaign in urging you to remain true to the Olympics' principles throughout the Sochi games. The Principle 6 campaign uses the language of the Olympic Charter to give athletes and fans - and organizers - a way to speak out against this discrimination without breaking Russian antigay laws or violating the Olympic ban on political speech. Therefore, I urge you to express your support for the Principle 6 Campaign and the universal principle of equality and human dignity upon which it is based.
Like many around the world, I will be watching this year's Winter Olympics in awe of the sheer athleticism of the thousands of Olympians that will gather in Sochi. I will also look on with pride as athletes and fans from around the world sport their Principle 6 apparel and demonstrate their support for a repeal of Russia's antigay laws. I wish you the best of luck in Sochi, and look forward to a spectacular two weeks of great competition.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator