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IOC adds gays to non-discrimination charter and Olympic host-city policy

The International Olympic Committee officially added sexual-orientation protection to its policies. We'll see if it has any effect.

Anastasia Bucsis was one of the few out LGBT athletes in Sochi.
Anastasia Bucsis was one of the few out LGBT athletes in Sochi.
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee has added an acknowledgement of sexual orientation protection to its charter and included such protections in the host-city contract. The changes were proposed a couple weeks ago and today the IOC made it official. From the IOC:

Each recommendation, voted on individually, received the full backing of the 96 IOC members in attendance. There were no votes against and no abstentions. As an additional show of unity for Olympic Agenda 2020, the members gave their unanimous support for the entire set of recommendations in an en bloc vote at the close of today's meeting.

President Bach, who initiated the Olympic Agenda 2020 discussions a year-and-a-half ago, thanked the Session on what he described as a "very important and positive day for the IOC and the Olympic Movement."

"The speed at which Olympic Agenda 2020 was approved showed the great support and determination of the members to make it happen", President Bach said during a press conference following the meeting. "It was a very, very positive surprise. But it followed over a year of constructive discussions. Some of the recommendations were not easy for certain members to swallow. Some may have hoped for no recommendation or a different recommendation on a specific issue. So it was encouraging that regardless of their individual interests or positions, they were determined to make Olympic Agenda 2020 a success. Speaking of the members, I have a great deal of respect for them to do this."

These are certainly positive steps. However, it should be noted that the IOC claimed that sexual orientation was already included in its charter and still voted Russia as its 2014 Winter Olympics host. The 2022 host will also be guaranteed to have a checkered-at-best past on LGBT issues. So the policy is nice, but the teeth it will have are likely to be quite dull.

And then of course there's this from the You Can Play project: