Vancouver proposes to send gay councillor to Sochi Olympics

VANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver is responding to Russia’s discrimination against gays and lesbians by proposing to send an openly gay councillor as its official representative for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Tim Stevenson, who is also the deputy mayor, wants to take a city declaration to Russia so he can ask the International Olympic Committee to recognize the human rights of all athletes.

He says cities vying to host future Olympics should endorse the creation of a pride house as part of their bid.

Stevenson told reporters that Nelson Mandela enshrined sexual orientation in South Africa’s constitution back in the 1990s and that he’s asking organizers of the Winter Olympics to ensure the games are inclusive for everyone.

Stevenson’s motion calls on the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee to include in its charter a non-discrimination clause for sexual and gender identity.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says he supports the motion, which will go to council next week.