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Will Olympic Committee's New Rules Influence Antigay Host Countries?

Will Olympic Committee's New Rules Influence Antigay Host Countries?

The International Olympic Committee has  approved a sweeping reform package, which updated the organization's nondiscrimination policy to include the protection of athletes against discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

IOC president Thomas Bach introduced 40 line items in his "Olympic Agenda 2020," which were unanimously approved by the committee Monday. The move follows the controversy surrounding the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, earlier this year, shortly after the passage and enforcement of Russia's law criminalizing so-called LGBT propaganda aimed at minors.

In a message to followers Friday, All Out said the vote was necessary, but more had to be done, including protections for trans athletes.  

"Trans people face danger and terrible inequality all over the world. Getting recognition from the biggest sporting body in the world could be a huge step towards trans rights everywhere," leaders from the organization wrote. Andre Banks, All Out's executive director, said Monday that the vote was a "pivotal moment for equality in sport."

Shortly after news of the vote, Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally, said, “There is no greater sign of progress in combating homophobia in sports than to have the oldest organized athletic competition in the history of the world saying enough is enough.”

Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord said potential host countries like China and Kazakhstan will have to "understand that protecting the rights of sexual minorities is no longer something they can dodge." During the winter games, Russian authorities arrested several activists, allies, and journalists under the law, according to Human Rights first.

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