The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) board
on Thursday voted in favor of adding sexual orientation to its
The move comes as Russia prepares to
host the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Over the summer, Russian President
Vladimir Putin signed laws which prohibit gay and lesbian couples
from adopting Russian-born children and the public promotion of gay
rights where minors might be present, effectively shutting down
public demonstrations of support. Russia's “gay propaganda” law
has provoked worldwide protests and calls for a boycott of the Sochi
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun reiterated that
the federation does not approve of the law.
“The fact that we do not think it is
our role to advocate for a change in the Russian law does not mean
that we support the law, and we do not,” Blackmun
is quoted by the AP as saying during his annual address to the
USOC Assembly on Friday.
Blackmun also said that the USOC would
not stop athletes attending the Winter Olympics in Russia from
showing support for gay rights.
police arrest activists protesting anti-gay laws.)