5. Hate Attacks are on the Increase in Russia
Commentators have strenuously argued that the federal propaganda law should not be the sole focus of the Sochi 2014 narrative as Russia’s backward slide toward persecuting its LGBT community started long before it was signed into law. What has been clear, though, is that the ban has acted as a green flag for anti-gay forces in Russia to step up their violence.
Indeed, a spokesperson for the international LGBT group the Kaleidoscope Trust told Pink News at Saturday’s London demonstration that: “Certainly our feeling and the feeling of our [Russian] partners seems to be that it’s getting worse in the sense these laws add to a climate of fear and also work to justify a range of abuses against LGBT people. Our partners in Russia are recording an increase level of violence: both spontaneous violence but also quite disturbingly premeditated and arranged violence.”
6. German Officials Condemn Russian Treatment of Gay People
While several leaders have called out Russia’s anti-gay persecution, including President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany’s Development Minister Dirk Niebel has perhaps made the most forceful of comments when he told broadcaster N24 on Monday:
“We must make clear when in contact with Russian politicians that this collapse in fundamental democratic values is not acceptable, and that Russia is moving towards becoming a flawless dictatorship.”
7. NBC Issues Memo to LGBT Employees Traveling for Olympics
NBC, which will be broadcasting the Sochi 2014 Olympics, issued a memo to employees on Friday reassuring them that NBC will take steps to ensure their safety if they are attending the Winter Olympics.
NBC Universal’s Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Craig Robinson is quoted as saying that Russia’s propaganda law is “deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolized.”
Exactly what these steps might entail remains to be seen.
So there you have it. The Russia Sochi 2014 controversy continues, as does the IOC’s virtual silence. You don’t need to wait for the IOC to take action, however.
Sochi 2014 sponsors have among them a number of companies that rely heavily on U.S. and European consumers. These sponsors include:
Coca-Cola, Atos, Dow, GEM, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, and Visa.
These companies have power to affect change by standing up for Russia’s LGBT community. Urge them to do so: click here to sign the petition!
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
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Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.