Over 100,000 people have called on the IOC to ensure the Olympics are never hosted in an anti-gay country again.
While the International Olympic Committee has hinted the rules could be changed in the future, activists are hoping any homophobic countries will be stopped from reaping the rewards of hosting the Games.
The last Olympics in Sochi, Russia, drew a huge amount of international criticism. Dozens of people were arrested under the ‘gay propaganda’ law.
More than 74,000 members of All Out – a global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization – put their name to a petition delivered to the IOC.
A further 40,000 sent their own submissions directly to the IOC, according to All Out.
Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out, said: ‘No country has a perfect human rights record but potential Olympic hosts should be held to the highest standards of the Olympic Charter.
‘Countries with laws designed to discriminate against or attack the dignity or human rights of anyone – including lesbian, gay, bi and trans people – are clearly inconsistent with the Olympic Charter and should not be given the honour and privilege of hosting the Olympic Games.’
The IOC will meet in December this year in order to discuss the bidding process.
It is hoped they will respond to calls that countries should abide by a specific anti-discrimination decree modelled on the Olympic Charter’s Principle 6.
Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.
When asked by reporters if a rule based on Principle 6 could become a pre-condition for cities campaigning to host the Games, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: ‘Could it be changed? It can be changed.’
After taking office, IOC President Thomas Bach launched the Agenda 2020 –a wide ranging review of the Olympics.
‘We are, as you know, in the middle of Agenda 2020 which is looking at just about everything on how Olympics are run,’ Adams said.
‘[Principle 6] is not something that is specifically looked at but if there is a groundswell of opinion it could be.’
If the IOC does make a decision, it will not impact the upcoming Olympic Games such as Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, and Tokyo, Japan in 2020.
Ukraine’s Lviv, Beijing, Norwegian capital Oslo, Poland’s Krakow and Kazakhstan’s Almaty are in the running for the 2022 Winter Olympics with a decision to be made next year.