IKEA recently censored a story about a lesbian couple, Clara and Kirsty, from the Russian version of its IKEA Family Live magazine. IKEA ran the story of Clara and Kirsty in 24 out of the 25 countries, and erased that story in the one country, Russia, where it matters the most -- where LGBT people are facing brutal human rights violations just because of who they are.
When it came time to stand with Russia’s LGBT community, IKEA chose to erase them, and then told reporters that they had no choice.
But IKEA did have a choice. As a company with a strong history of supporting LGBT rights, IKEA could have strongly condemned Russia’s anti-LGBT laws -- laws that continue to allow authorities to arrest LGBT people in Russia, and laws that give cover to groups that terrorize Russia’s LGBT citizens -- and included the photo of Clara and Kirsty.
It’s time to demand that IKEA put this lesbian couple back into the Russian version of their magazine, and strongly condemn Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
Last year, IKEA deleted images of women from its Saudi Arabia catalogue, and came under widespread global criticism. IKEA later apologized for this incident, and said its actions conflicted with their core company values.
Yet deleting LGBT people from their Russian publications is okay? Shouldn’t that also conflict with IKEA’s core company values?
Recently our group did a kiss-in at the IKEA in Brooklyn, NY. And we’re not going to stop until IKEA responds to our demands. If progressive and friendly IKEA erases us, who will stand up for us?
Be a friend, IKEA. Do not go along with Russian President Vladimir Putin's anti-gay assault.
It’s time to support LGBT people in Russia, not erase them.
RUSA LGBT is partnering with GetEqual and Spectrum Human Rights in this campaign.