All Out Escalates Campaign Against Russia Anti-Gay Crackdown
All Out Escalates Global Campaign Against Anti-Gay Crackdown In Russia; Delivers Petition to Meeting of Russia Foreign Minister and UN Head
1. In a snap demonstration on Thursday afternoon, All Out delivered its global petition to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia as he met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
2. More than 340,000 people from around the world have signed All Out’s petition urging Russia to repeal anti-gay laws in advance of 2014 Sochi Olympics
3. President Obama says he has “no patience” for the anti-gay laws on Jay Leno show before canceling upcoming talks with Russian leaders
New York, NY - In a surprise visit, All Out publicly delivered a petition with more than 340,000 signatures against the Russian anti-gay crackdown to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, as he met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City. This demonstration follows a successful delivery of signatures to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland on Wednesday.
The global petition urges Russian and world leaders to condemn Russia's anti-gay law, denounce the laws and protect all people from violence and discrimination in Russia.
All Out members arrived just after 4:00 pm on the sidewalk at the Upper East Side location where the meeting between the Secretary General and Russian official was being held, holding signs that said "340,457 worldwide say: stop Russia's anti-gay crackdown." Others said, “Tchaikovsky. Genius. Gay. Outlawed” referencing the celebrated gay Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
“Our message for Russian leaders is this: we’re not going away until lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Russia don’t have to fear arrest, murder, or censorship because of who they are and who they love,” said Andre Banks, Executive Director and co-founder of All Out. “We’re pushing hard on the International Olympic Committee to use their unique and critical position to ensure these concerns are being addressed in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. And, we’re taking our demands straight to Russian government officials like Sergey Lavrov so they can’t escape our powerful message of love and equality at home or abroad.”
All Out’s campaign to stop the anti-gay crackdown in Russia is run with the support of Russian LGBT activists, who are also calling for an end to the violence and repressive laws.
"We hope the International Olympic Committee responds to All Out and Athlete Ally's members and the millions of people worldwide who want Russia to treat all of their citizens with dignity under the law. Unless the Sochi Games set an example of the rights and freedoms being exercised without prejudice, the discriminatory anti-LGBT law will serve to punish people simply for being open about who they are and who they love. We continue our call for world leaders, including the IOC, to speak out now before it is too late," said Anastasia Smirnova, from the Russian LGBT Network in St Petersburg.