Stand for Equality at Sochi [Take Action]

by David Pichler, U.S. Olympian

As a gay Olympian, I believe that the best response to mounting repression in Russia is engagement. The Sochi Winter Olympic Games is an opportunity to champion equality and human rights.

That’s why I will be at Sochi this week, working with Human Rights First to support Russians who oppose the government’s assault on LGBT rights.

President Obama took a stand for equality by naming a diverse delegation to Sochi, an unmistakable response to the horrifying anti-LGBT “propaganda” bill that President Vladimir Putin signed in June. Of the nine people on the delegation, three are openly gay or lesbian Olympians.

Urge the U.S. delegation to stand for equality by calling for the repeal of Russia’s antigay law.

The presence of LGBT members in the U.S. delegation—tennis legend Billie Jean King, skating gold medalist Brian Boitano, and women’s hockey team gold medalist Caitlin Cahow—clearly demonstrates that the United States celebrates diversity. Now the entire delegation, gay and straight, has the opportunity to show that and stand up against Russia’s crackdown on the LGBT community.

Today, so do you.

Urge the U.S. delegation to take a stand for equality at the Sochi Olympic Games.

Our interest in LGBT rights in Russia must go beyond Sochi. Millions of Russians, including many beyond the LGBT community, oppose Russia’s return to authoritarianism. After the Olympic torch leaves Sochi, these Russians will still be there, fighting for the right to live and love openly. Please join us in standing with them.

P.S.: Many of you will watch the Sochi Olympics games from your home. Stand for equality by donating to Human Rights First and getting a free “Sochi. Equality.” knit hat.

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Published on February 4, 2014

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