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VIDEO: UN's Ban Ki-moon says we must oppose arrests, discrimination of LGBTI people


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United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) general assembly, urging for action in defense of the LGBT community. This year, Ban carried the Olympic torch to Vladimir Putin to begin the Games.

While Ban did not mention Russia's anti-gay "propaganda" law and the violence surrounding it by name, he told the crowd of his strong belief in LGBT people's safety and equality, in sports and at large.

"Many professional athletes, gay, straight, are speaking out against prejudice. We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex people. We must oppose the arrests, imprisonments, and discriminatory restrictions they face. The United Nations stands strongly behind our own "Free and Equal" campaign, and I look forward to working with the IOC, governments, and other partners around the world to build societies of equality and tolerance. Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century."

He added afterwards that he accepts "the assurances of President Putin that there will be no discrimination" at the Olympics, which have begun in Sochi, Russia. Ban continued, "In the spirit and framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everybody is born free and equal…regardless of age and sex and sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a fundamental principal of human rights." You can watch a clip from that speech below:


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