Vancouver city councillor Tim Stevenson and former VANOC director of communications and community relations Maureen Douglas have departed Vancouver for a task to lobby for gay rights in the Olympics at Sochi.
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The city-funded trip for Stevenson and Douglas, who both identify as gay, comes after the rise in violence against homosexuals in Russia, the passing of anti-gay “propaganda” laws, and concerns over how LGBT athletes, officials and visitors will be treated at Sochi. Earlier this week, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach assured that athletes will not be punished for making political statements.
During the 12-day trip, Stevenson hopes to convince the IOC to add a non-discrimination, sexual orientation clause to the Olympic Charter and to make Pride Houses a requirement for future host cities.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games begin on Friday, February 7.
Image: City of Vancouver