London Olympics Discriminating Against Married Competitors?

posted on July 17, 2012 by 
 Russell and Lauryn MarkRussell and Lauryn Mark are members of Australia’s Olympic team that has made their way to London.  They are both marksmen and will compete in trap shooting.  Upon arrival at the Olympic Village, Russell and Lauryn were given their housing assignments, which are separate from each other.

According to the Marks, they feel they are being discriminated against because they are a traditional heterosexual couple.  In an interview with an Australian news company, Russell said:

“The stupid part of this, which I have argued to them, is that there are tons of gay couples on the Olympic team who will be rooming together, so we are being discriminated against because we are heterosexual.”

Lauryn also commented on the situation stating that their own Olympic committee will not help them and seems to be supporting the Olympic officials.  She also told the Australian news company:

“Basically they said if we want to room together we need to check out of the village and go into a hotel at our own expense. It’s not feasible.  I am very frustrated because in sport there are a lot of same-sex couples and it’s OK to be partners with someone of the same sex, but if you are heterosexual you are penalized.”

Australia’s Olympic Committee says the couple is not being discriminated against because the housing is laid out to in such a way as to provide housing for all of the athletes attending the games.

One way or another, the couple will have to be housed and each one will have a roommate.  So why shouldn’t they be able to room together?  Should the Olympic Villages make accommodations for married couples as it does for same-sex couples?


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