SENATE RESOLUTION 311--CALLING ON THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) TO STRONGLY OPPOSE RUSSIA'S DISCRIMINATORY LAW AGAINST THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND...; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 167
(Senate - November 21, 2013)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S8465-S8466]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 SENATE RESOLUTION 311--CALLING ON THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 
   (IOC) TO STRONGLY OPPOSE RUSSIA'S DISCRIMINATORY LAW AGAINST THE 
   FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER 
 (LGBT) PERSONS AND TO OBTAIN WRITTEN ASSURANCE THAT HOST COUNTRIES OF 
THE OLYMPIC GAMES WILL UPHOLD ALL INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL 
 RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS FOR ALL PERSONS OBSERVING OR PARTICIPATING IN THE 
GAMES REGARDLESS OF RACE, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR GENDER IDENTITY, 
                         AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

  Mr. MERKLEY (for himself, Mrs. Boxer, Mrs. Feinstein, and Mr. Murphy) 
submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

                              S. Res. 311

       Whereas the goal of the Olympic movement is to contribute 
     to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth 
     through sport practiced in accordance with Olympism and its 
     values;
       Whereas the role of the International Olympic Committee 
     (IOC), according to the Olympic Charter, is to cooperate with 
     the competent public or private organizations and authorities 
     in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and 
     thereby promote peace;
       Whereas, under the Olympic Charter, any form of 
     discrimination against a person is deemed incompatible with 
     belonging to the Olympic movement and the IOC is to act 
     explicitly against any form of discrimination affecting the 
     Olympic movement;
       Whereas, in February 2014, the city of Sochi in the 
     Krasnodar region of the Russian Federation will host the 22nd 
     Winter Olympic Games;
       Whereas, on June 30, 2013, President Vladimir Putin of 
     Russian signed into law a bill that allows the Government of 
     the Russian Federation to arrest gay or ``pro-gay'' 
     foreigners prior to being deported from the country;
       Whereas the Krasnodar region of Russia, where the city of 
     Sochi is located, and 10 other regions have adopted similar 
     laws banning ``homosexual propaganda'';
       Whereas several media outlets recently reported of 
     homophobic violence occurring in Russia resulting in the 
     deaths of Russian citizens;
       Whereas authorities in Russia have refused to register the 
     nongovernmental organization that would set up a Pride House 
     in Sochi, which would work to combat homophobia in sport and 
     promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) 
     individuals' rights during the Olympic Games in Russia, as 
     the Pride House did during the 2010 Winter Olympics in 
     Vancouver;
       Whereas the presence of a Pride House would be the 
     expression of human rights and have the mission of 
     celebrating diversity and inclusiveness through sport and 
     raising awareness of LGBT discrimination and criminalization;
       Whereas the IOC has said that they have received assurances 
     from the highest levels of the Government of the Russian 
     Federation that Olympic athletes and visitors will not be 
     affected by Russia's discriminatory law, but the Minister of 
     Sports in Russia has suggested that athletes will not be 
     exempt;
       Whereas the Department of State has a clear and consistent 
     policy of championing the protection of human rights of LGBT 
     individuals worldwide, including by opposing any legislation 
     that singles out people for discriminatory treatment due to 
     their sexual orientation and by encouraging countries to 
     repeal or reform laws that punish or criminalize LGBT status;
       Whereas Russia has obligated itself to respect and enforce 
     the right to be free from discrimination and the right to 
     freedom of assembly, association, and expression under the 
     European Convention of Human Rights, the United Nations 
     International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the 
     human dimension commitments of the Organization for Security 
     and Cooperation in Europe; and
       Whereas the IOC recently stated, ``The International 
     Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and 
     should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual 
     orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free 
     of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, 
     media and of course athletes. We oppose in the strongest 
     terms any move that would jeopardize this principle.'': Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) calls on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to 
     strongly oppose Russia's discriminatory law as inconsistent 
     with Russia's international obligations and with the value of 
     the Olympic movement;
       (2) calls on the IOC to insist, as a condition of holding 
     the planned Olympic Games in Sochi, that the Government of 
     the Russian Federation provide unconditional assurance that 
     no athlete, coach, official, spectator, or anyone otherwise 
     involved or affiliated with the Olympic Games will be 
     harassed, fined, detained, or otherwise have their human 
     rights, including their right to free expression, violated 
     due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender 
     identity or expression of support for LGBT human rights;

[[Page S8466]]

       (3) urges the IOC to insist that venders and contractors 
     have LGBT nondiscrimination policies in place for the 2014 
     Winter Olympics in Sochi and for all future Olympic Games or 
     other Olympic events;
       (4) urges the IOC to call on the Russian Federation to 
     allow a Pride House that has the mission of celebrating 
     diversity and inclusiveness through sport and raising 
     awareness of LGBT discrimination and criminalization;
       (5) urges the IOC to amend its charter to state that 
     discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender 
     identity is not compatible with the Olympic Games; and
       (6) urges the congressionally chartered United States 
     Olympic Committee to intervene and assist the IOC in 
     establishing the objectives as laid out by this resolution.

                          ____________________