Gay European Tourism Association calls for gayest games at Sochi Winter Olympics

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GETA, the Gay European Tourism Association, has called upon the International Olympic Commission to act against discrimination at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and to make a clear and visible statement in support of gay rights.

The Association has written to the IOC reminding it that the Olympic Charter commits it “to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement” and has launched an on-line petition to put pressure on the Commission to act.

In response to the Russian Government’s recent laws which ban the promotion of homosexual propaganda GETA calls upon the IOC to act –

• to make clear and highly visual statements about its opposition to discrimination through creating gay venues, encouraging gay athletes, team members and spectators to be open about their sexuality and reasserting the IOC’s commitment to act against discrimination;

• to encourage gay athletes to make their presence known and all athletes to show their opposition to discrimination in what they say, what they wear and what they do; and

• to defend the rights of spectators to promote their opposition to discrimination in non-violent ways.

“The IOC is committed by its Charter to act against discrimination and we want to make sure that it does so at their games in Russia” said Carlos Kytka, Executive Director of GETA.”GETA exists to make it easier for gay people to travel in Europe. Team members and spectators visiting Russia face arrest, jail, deportation and physical harm for behaving in accordance the Olympic Charter commitment to act against discrimination. The IOC has to take a very visible and vocal stand. We want them to make these the gayest games ever.”

GETA is seeking the support of European Governments for its stand by raising the issue with European Sports Ministers and supportive parliamentarians.

“The World Outgames have just started in Antwerp showing how sport should embrace everyone, regardless of their sexuality. We urge everyone who opposes discrimination to sign the petition and put pressure on the IOC to act,” said Carlos.

You can see more about the campaign and sign the petition at GETA’s travel website, www.gaywelcome.com