Tom Daley wants countries with gay death penalty banned from Olympics


tom daley tokyo olympics gold medal
Image: Tom Daley/YouTube

British diver Tom Daley has said he’s on a “mission” to prevent countries where being gay is punishable by death from competing in the Olympics.

Daley won his first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

Speaking at UK LGBTIQ publication Attitude’s 2021 awards ceremony, Daley declared he’ll campaign for the Olympics to ban countries carrying the death penalty for homosexuality.

“I think it’s really important to try and create change, rather than just highlighting or shining a light on these things,” he said.

“I want to make it my mission… hopefully before the Paris Olympics in 2024 to make it so that the countries criminalise and [where it’s] punishable by death for LGBT people aren’t allowed to compete at the Olympic Games.”

He said Tokyo 2020 welcomed more openly LGBTIQ athletes than “any of the previous Olympics combined.” That was a great step forward, he said.

However, Daley explained there are “still 10 countries that punish being gay with death that were still allowed to compete. That’s quite shocking to a lot of people.”

“I am incredibly lucky to come from Great Britain where I am able to be my true, authentic self and compete without worry of ramifications.

“Wherever you are born you should have that stress taken away from you.”

Anti-gay Qatar is hosting upcoming World Cup

As many as 11 jurisdictions still impose the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual activity.

Tom Daley went to say he believed those same countries shouldn’t be allowed to host international sporting events.

The upcoming 2022 World Cup is being held in Qatar. It’s one of the most dangerous countries in the world for LGBTIQ people, according to rights groups.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by imprisonment, flogging or the death penalty under Islamic laws.

“The World Cup coming up in Qatar has extreme rules against LGBT people and about women,” Daley said.

“I think it should not be allowed for a country that criminalises basic human rights to host [the event].

“So, that is going to be my mission now to try and change that.”

Tom Daley incredibly proud to be gay Olympic champion

Earlier this month, Tom Daley revealed his horror battle with Covid-19 just a few months before winning Olympic gold.

The diver competed in his first Olympics in 2008, aged just 14. He later came out in 2013.

“I feel incredibly proud to say I’m a gay man and also an Olympic champion,” he said in July.

“I feel very empowered by that. When I was younger I thought that I was never going to achieve anything because of who I was.

“I hope that any young LGBT+ person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone and you can achieve anything.”

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    14 October 2021
    Reply

    It is so good to hear Tom Daley using his sporting and Olympic profile to promote our rights and to shine the light on Countries who criminalize our very existence. It is unbelievable that in 10 countries our community members are put to death. Where are the voices of other LGBTQI+ athletes? Probably more interested in monetizing their celebrity.

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