WINDY CITY TIMES
||Louganis, Russian activists headline Congressional Briefing
From a press release
This article shared 3178 times since Fri Dec 13, 2013
Washington, DC — Human Right First today will hold a Congressional briefing hosted by Congressman David Cicilline ( D-RI ) to discuss the current situation for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ( LGBT ) community in Russia, what activists on the ground are doing, and what the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Olympics can do to push back on Russia's anti-gay legislation. Panelists for the event will include four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis along with Russian LGBT activists Anastasia Smirnova, coordinator of the coalition of LGBT organizations in the Olympics advocacy campaign, Elvina Yuvakaeva and Konstantin Iablotckii, Co-Presidents of the Russian LGBT Sport Federation, and Maria Kozlovskaya, legal program coordinator of the Council of Russian LGBT network.
"It is crucial that the U.S. delegation and Members of Congress be prepared to engage Russian officials, the international media, and human rights defenders about issues of human rights and equality at the Olympic Games," said Human Rights First's Shawn Gaylord. "Russia's anti-'propaganda' laws and the threat of new legislation targeting families headed by LGBT people have created a climate of fear for sexual minorities and a permissive environment for violence against them. As we approach the Sochi Olympic games, the U.S. government needs to speak clearly about the importance of respecting the human rights of all people."
As part of the organization's ongoing campaign to repeal Russia's anti-gay laws and in addition to today's hearing, Human Rights First has joined Principle 6, a campaign spearheaded by Athlete Ally and All Out. Principle 6, a campaign inspired by the values of the Olympic charter, is a way for athletes, spectators, and global supporters to celebrate the Olympic principle of non-discrimination and call for an end to Russia's anti-gay laws before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. American Apparel has partnered with the campaign to produce and distribute Principle 6 gear online and in their stores globally. Proceeds from the Principle 6 clothing line will support the campaign and Russian LGBT groups. Human Rights First will be providing Principle 6 gear to Members of Congress wishing to join with the campaign at today's briefing and in coming weeks.
Human Rights First urges the White House to ensure that the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Olympics include prominent LGBT people, as well as allies of the LGBT community, who will carry a message of tolerance and respect for individual rights and human dignity. The organization also continues to call on the U.S. government to pressure Russian lawmakers both directly and through the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, like-minded governments, and Olympic sponsors to repeal the anti-"propaganda" laws which target the LGBT community. The Human Rights First August 2013 report, Convenient Targets, tracks the rise in regional anti-"propaganda" laws that spurred on federal legislation and includes recommendations for the U.S. government.
This article shared 3178 times since Fri Dec 13, 2013
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