Text: S.Res.311 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (11/21/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. Res. 311 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
S. RES. 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.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           November 21, 2013

 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

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
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.

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;
            (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.
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