Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Proposes to Send Gay Councillor to Olympics over Gay Crackdown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Proposes to Send Gay Councillor to Olympics over Gay Crackdown

Article excerpt

Vancouver to send gay councillor to Sochi

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VANCOUVER - Vancouver, the host city that introduced "The Pride House" to the Olympics movement, could soon send its gay deputy mayor to Russia to fight against homophobia in sport.

City councillors are expected to endorse a resolution next week sending Coun. Tim Stevenson and two members of his Host City Pride House Mission Team to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Once there, the team will ask officials with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee to include a non-discrimination clause for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in the Games' charter and require future host cities to endorse pride houses in their bids.

The trip would come about eight months after Russia passed a law that bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on people who stage gay pride rallies.

"This isn't to challenge laws or to challenge the authorities," Stevenson told reporters in Vancouver Wednesday. "I am going to try to convince the IOC that they need to change.

"This isn't about trying to raise international incidents, and there will probably be others that may do that, I don't know, but good luck to them. But I want to go to make sure that we speak to the IOC and get them to understand how important it is to include sexual orientation in their charter and how important it is to have a safe house in every Olympics from here on in."

The resolution also calls on Olympic officials to "ensure the protection" of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered athletes, coaches, officials, spectators and their allies in Sochi.

No one from the International Olympic Committee was available to comment by publication.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he seconded Stevenson's motion and will back it when it comes before council. Stevenson said later that he didn't expect opposition from members of council. …

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