By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com September 15 2013 12:25 PM ET
Russian officials have agreed to alter a symbolic statement called the Olympic Truce in an effort to address the controversies surrounding its hosting of next year’s Winter Games, but it may do little to assuage concerns about the nation’s antigay climate and policies.
Russia’s rough draft of the statement had “mentioned a promise to include ‘people of different age, sex, physical capacity, religion, race and social status,’” but did not include LGBT people, The New York Times reports. This week, after extensive negotiations with United Nations representatives from several countries, Russia agreed to language saying “that it would ‘promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind,’” according to the Times. The U.N. will vote on the truce in the next few weeks.
Previous truce statements had not mentioned LGBT people either, but there were special concerns about Russia because of its recently passed law banning so-called gay propaganda and numerous incidents of violence against LGBT people in the country.
Several U.N. diplomats praised the result; Greece’s Iakovos Iakovidis, for one, called it “a very good outcome.” But, as the Times notes, “the resolution is a good-will gesture that carries little weight in the real world.”