The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that it would add an anti-discrimination clause to host cities' contracts. The announcement comes after human rights groups criticized Russia's anti-gay policies during the Winter Games in Sochi.
Cities hosting the 2022 Olympic Games will be required to follow a new clause of the Olympic charter that prohibits "any form of discrimination," Time reports. Principle 6 of the Olympic charter bans "any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender, or otherwise." Reuters reports that Kazakhstan's Almaty, China's Beijing, and Norway's Oslo are bidding to host the winter Olympics in 2022.
"This is a significant step in ensuring the protection of both citizens and athletes around the world and sends a clear message to future host cities that human rights violations, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be tolerated," Andre Banks, executive director of All Out, an LGBT rights group, said in a statement. "This is a particularly important moment for the world's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens who face discrimination and persecution not only in Russia, but in countries all over the world."