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SBD Global/November 8, 2013/Olympics

United Nations General Assembly Urges Russia To Stop Discrimination

The U.N. General Assembly urged Moscow "to promote social inclusion without discrimination" amid outrage over the country's ban on gay "propaganda" among minors, according to REUTERS. Russia "triggered angry criticism and even calls to boycott the Sochi Games when it adopted in June a ban on homosexual 'propaganda' among minors." Critics denounced the law as "discriminatory and a curb on rights to free speech and assembly." U.S. delegate Elizabeth Cousens said, "Sport embraces all segments of society and is instrumental in empowering people with diverse backgrounds, while fostering tolerance and respect for all people no matter what they look like, where they come from, where they worship or whom they love." IOC President Thomas Bach "appealed for the autonomy of sport to be protected and strengthened." He said that responsible autonomy "meant respecting national laws that do not target sport." He also said that the IOC "was opposed to boycotts of any kind." Bach: "Boycotts are a fundamental contradiction to the spirit of sport, depriving it of the means to continue working for peace, mutual understanding and solidarity" (REUTERS, 11/7).
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