Pride House 2012 to host open meeting on action against homophobia in the Olympic Movement

UPDATE: We are pleased to announce the support of NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, for this meeting.

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG), with the support of the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) and the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) has called on interested parties to meet at Pride House 2012 to discussion concrete action on the fight against homophobia in the Olympic Movement. Participating in the meeting will also be the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Jonathan Cooper and Mark Stephens of the Human Dignity Trust.

The meeting will take place on Saturday 4 August 2012 from 11am to 2pm at Pride House 2012, a project of Pride Sports UK, in collaboration with the EGLSF, FGG, GLISA, the LGBT Consortium and Phoenix FC. It aims to offer a welcoming space for all athletes, staff, spectators and friends of London 2012. Pride House 2012 will be open on 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 12 August at CA House in Limehouse Basin on the River Thames, and in other venues from 3-12 August.

Armelle Mazé, female co-president of the EGLSF, spoke of the example of the recent EuroGames in Budapest: “When thousands of athletes, whose only goal was to play sport, came together in Hungary last month, a massive police presence was needed to ensure their safety. “EGLSF’s male co-president Lou Manders continued: “The games were a success, but they highlight the difficulties LGBT people experience in many countries when it comes to taking part in sport.”

Paul Brummitt, secretary of GLISA, added: “Many participants from more tolerant countries were shocked at how much security was needed in Budapest to protect us against threats of homophobic violence. In far too many countries, homophobia denies people access to sport or forces them to keep quiet about their sexuality. The London Olympics, a model of inclusion and diversity in the host committee, are an opportunity for a loud call to action.”

Marc Naimark, FGG VP for External Affairs, explained the background of this invitation: “In 2010, the FGG launched a campaign to call on the IOC to respect the principles of the Olympic Charter that reject all forms of discrimination in sport. Since then little has changed. The IOC claims the leadership of worldwide sport: we believe they need to take concrete and concerted action to make this principle a reality for LGBT athletes and coaches.”

Peter Tatchell recently called on the IOC to refuse participation in the Olympics to countries that discriminate in sport: “The international sports community ban on apartheid South Africa was a positive example of the responsibility of sporting institutions to ensure non-discrimination. If it was unacceptable for black South Africans to be excluded from sport on the basis of their race, why is it acceptable for LGBT athletes to be excluded because of their sexual orientation or gender identity?”

Lou Englefield, director of lead partner Pride Sports, concluded: “Pride House 2012 is a place to meet and discuss issues relative to LGBT sport and LGBT people in sport. I’m pleased that interested parties will be able to meet here to work towards positive action in favour of LGBT participation in sport.”

All are welcome to Pride House 2012. In order to ensure proper planning, please write to pridehouse2012@gmail.com by 1 August to indicate your intent to participate in the session. Pride House 2012 will remain open to all free of charge during the session.

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