In June 2013, the Russian government enacted a law aimed squarely at the LGBT community. This law, known as the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” bill, specifies punishment for foreign citizens, to include fines of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000 US), time in prison for up to 15 days, deportation and denial of reentry into Russia. Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko confirmed that athletes and spectators attending next years Winter Olympic Games in the southern city of Sochi will face fines, arrest and deportation if they violate the country’s new anti-gay law. This includes any “gay public displays of affection”, including “holding hands”,or “displaying symbols like a Rainbow Flag”.
This kind of hateful discrimination, directed at otherwise law abiding citizens, has no place in the 21st century. By making this peaceful, silent yet unmistakably clear and recognizable gesture, the world can send a strong message to the government of Russia while still allowing the dedicated athletes to participate in these games. We will be sending this petition to the individual Olympic Organizing Committees of the participating nations. If we can get just a few of the more prominent nations on board, this will surely encourage the participation of others.
Please do your part; take the time to sign this petition, then Tweet, Share or Email it to as many people as possible. Together we CAN make a difference.
I realize that proposing a complete boycott of the Sochi games would not only be ineffective, but it would be extremely unfair to the athletes, gay or straight, who've worked so hard in preparation for these games. However, I feel that something must be done to express your nation's strong disapproval of this type of intolerance. Since it is illegal in Russia, under penalty of fine and/or imprisonment, to outwardly show one's homosexuality, including waving a Rainbow Flag, I propose the following:
Please consider placing a small but visible Rainbow Flag somewhere on the uniforms of your athletes. In doing so, you would quietly, peacefully, yet effectively show the legislators within the Russian government, as well as people all over the world, that your nation stands strongly for freedom and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. If it is not feasible to add this symbol to all the uniforms, then at least add it to the outfits to be worn during the opening and closing ceremonies. This request has also been sent to your counterparts in many of the more human rights conscious nations competing in the upcoming Sochi Winter Games. Please give this suggestion the consideration it deserves, given the worldwide outrage in regards to this clear violation of human rights.