Protestors to target Russian Embassy during Olympics
Members of US gay activist group, Queer Nation, has announced plans to picket the Russian Embassy in New York in protest of President Vladimir Putin’s anti gay laws.
The Sochi Winter Olympics will kick off on February 6 and the protestors feel this is an ideal time to draw focus to the human rights abuses in Russia.
“Gay bashing is not an Olympic sport,” said Scott Wooledge, a member of Queer Nation. “The International Olympic Committee, the Olympic sponsors, including Coke, P&G, and McDonald’s, and the athletes who are competing in Russia have refused to support human rights -- so we will. The Russian government is on notice that the start of the Olympics is not the end of this fight."
Putin signed the anti gay propaganda law into force last year, effectively banning any pro-LGBTI statements in Russia. In July he signed a further law banning adoption of children by same-sex couples (abroad and in Russia).
Russia’s LGBTI people have faced increased violence and harassment since the law has been enforced.
"Putin's anti-gay campaign has made him an international pariah," added Wooledge. "Overturning these laws and ensuring the rights of LGBT Russians is the only way for him to begin to repair that damage to his reputation on the world stage."
Queer Nation is a direct action group dedicated to ending discrimination, violence and repression against the LGBT community.