The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is in the process of selecting a city to host the 2020 Olympic Games with several LGBT sports groups pleading the organization to consider LGBT inclusivity when making their decision. Athlete Ally suggested Madrid.
“We urge the members of the IOC casting their votes to select the city that clearly demonstrates that LGBT rights are human rights,” read the petition from Athlete Ally. “With 10,000 signatures to this petition we will deliver a strong message to the IOC members: persecution of the LGBT community and the Olympics can never again co-exist. Choose Madrid!”
With over 11,000 members, Athlete Ally has noteworthy LGBT allies like football players Brendan Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe.
Other suggested cities were Istanbul and Tokyo, but Madrid is the most LGBT-inclusive of the three options. In choosing an Olympic venue, the committee looks at cost, human rights and marketability.
Chosen as the host for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia recently implemented several anti-LGBT laws including the ban of “homosexual propaganda,” the restriction of foreign LGBT couples from adopting Russian children, the outlaw of Pride parades, and a penalty for insulting a person’s religious beliefs.
Putin has stressed that these laws aren’t homophobic, but are in place to protect the youth and maintain the country’s Catholic Orthodox values. After several Russian lawmakers said that LGBT athletes and spectators will not be exempt from the country’s laws, the committee vowed to ensure LGBT protection.