Principle 6 of the IOC Charter:
"6: To act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement;"
In light of what terrors are happening to the LGBT community in Russia, because of the "anti gay propaganda laws" which were signed into legislation June of 2013, and starting to be enforced in July that year, it seems the IOC should be outraged to the human indecencies being practiced in that country, along with the hate speech from Russian Media and Celebrities of that country.
The atrocities' happening to LGBT youth there are abhorrent, and even over the Internet, with a light being shown on these with seeming pride of the tormentors. Even a famous Russian actor was quoted as saying, "The laws don't go far enough, and they (LGBT) should be put in ovens." Hate speech turns into "Hate Action" and is not benign, but like a cancer will grow if unchecked.
This does affect the Olympic Movement, as I understand it.
I do think that US and Germany are doing the right thing and not having it's leaders going to Sochi, because of Russia's human rights violations against it's own LGBT community and threats to those even visiting their country. I personally could be detained for up to 12 days if I walk the streets of Russia holding my husbands hand or giving him a loving kiss. This is not a protection of "culture" or at least I hope it isn't but it is a human right to love and be loved.
As a gay man I didn't choose to be gay I was born this way. When do straight people "choose" to be straight? Even the Pope has said, "Who am I to judge" we are all children of whatever "creator" or higher power you believe in.
I join with Athlete Ally and All Out Sports who are inclusive groups standing up for LGBT rights in Sports whether you are straight or gay. Often times it our Ally's whose voices are heard and with that opinions change.
It is great that Obama chose three out and open LGBT Athletes to go as delegate for the US. It shows his support of the LGBT Sports men and women. I was a bit disappointed I wasn't named to the group, but heard I was on "the short list" being considered, which is an honor.
I believe Billie Jean King, Caitlin Cahow and Brian Boitano are wonderful advocates, but it is my concern what happens after the Sochi Games are over. There are LGBT children born in Russia every day, and who is there to protect those children? Because who knows who is going to be the next Tchaikovsky, or Nureyev or Martina Navratilova or heck, Greg Louganis?
ALL children should be protected and when I say protected, I also mean educated, that being LGBT is not a crime and has nothing to do with pedophilia. ALL children of the world have the right to feel safe, to be just who they were born to be, with love and support.
The one thing I learned when meeting with some of the LGBT activists in Russia is that their financial support comes from outside of their country for the most part. They are fined, often times for violations of the "propaganda" laws, and they made a plea to the LGBT Activists. We support LGBT events like film festivals, entertainment events, and sporting events. The week between the Olympics and the Paralympics Moscow will be hosting "The Out Games." I was asked to come and lend support, but they have no money to get me there. This was communicated in how we can support in a very real way.
I try to live in the "solution." This can be difficult. "What would a good solution be?" I have asked. Many athletes at the Olympics can dedicate their performances to the LGBT friends, relatives, teammates and coaches without repercussions from the IOC. I have heard Billie Jean say, "Sure, demonstrate and waive a rainbow flag or pin." The IOC has made clear they would take action, like they did in '68 with the racial equality issue, raised on the podium in Mexico City. Those two athletes were not stripped of their medals, but stripped of their credentials. Also understand that this is an international event and we, the United States, aren't the only ones who can and will have a voice on this issue. The Australian bobsled team is riding with a "P6 "on its sled, and being sponsored by an LGBT rights activist group, and proud of it! Gotta love Australia!
Speaking of marriage equality, someone asked me if it felt "different" when I took my vows with Johnny Chaillot. I was surprised how much it did! I thought of my Mom -- RIP -- tears in her eyes, saying she was just sad for me that I would never be able to get married and have a family, and she worried I would be alone. When they said, "You, Greg Louganis and Johnny Chaillot-Louganis are now legally married in the State of California," I could see my Mom smiling in Johnny's eyes as if we were the only ones there. It was emotional and tender, and I was full of the sense of how right it was.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The series is part of our Impact Sports initiative, which examines the intersection of sports and social good. Many of the posts in this series critique the Russian government's draconian anti-LGBT laws, though other topics include climate change and censorship. Read all the posts in the series here.
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