US blocks removal of discrimination reference from UN Olympics resolution

The U.S., France and Brazil have blocked efforts to remove a reference to discrimination that includes sexual orientation from an Olympics resolution at the U.N.


The U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 13 is expected to adopt an “Olympic Truce Resolution” that calls for peace around the world during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The resolution also calls for global peace during the week before and after the Olympics, which will take place from Feb. 9-25.

Egypt and Russia sought to remove a reference to Principle 6 — the Olympic Charter’s nondiscrimination clause — from the resolution because it specifically includes sexual orientation along with religion, gender and other factors.

The version of resolution that is currently before the U.N. General Assembly includes the gay-inclusive Principle 6 language.

“The Olympics is an event that should focus on what brings us together – friendly competition by the world’s best athletes – not what makes us different,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the Washington Blade on Tuesday in a statement.  “No athlete should face discrimination of any kind when representing their country in the games.” 

Russia’s LGBT rights record — including a law that bans the promotion of so-called gay propaganda to minors — overshadowed the 2014 Winter Olympics that took place in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The International Olympic Committee in late 2014 added sexual orientation to Principle 6.

Brazil, the following year, spearheaded efforts to include a gay-inclusive Principle 6 reference in a resolution that is similar to the one currently before the U.N. General Assembly. It was adopted ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics that took place in Rio de Janeiro. Read more via Washington Blade