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Urge the Olympic Sponsors to Speak Out

You can use the template below to ask the Sochi olympic sponsors to speak out about the LGBT human rights abuses in Russia. Either use our prepared template or write your own message for greater impact.

The main sponsors of the Sochi Olympic games are: The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric, Panasonic, McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Omega, Samsung Electronics, Coca-Cola, Visa Inc. Company and Atos. We have used a similar letter being sent by LGBT organisations from around the globe.

[ecampaign to=’scott@equality-network.org’ subject=”LGBT Human Rights Abuses in Russia”]

Dear Olympic Sponsor,

As the Opening Ceremony commences the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As sponsors of these Games and partners of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), you can expect that your brands will be indelibly linked to events and occurrences in Russia leading up to and during the Winter Games. We know it must surely concern you, as it deeply concerns all of us, that since being selected as the host country for the Winter Olympics, the Russian government has intensified its assault on the human rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens and the IOC has stood by without strongly condemning these acts.

Russian citizens and foreigners are banned by law from publicly supporting equality for LGBT people. Activists and journalists who have sought to investigate and denounce such human rights abuses have been secretly recorded, harassed and deported from Russia. LGBT Russians have effectively been pushed to the margins of society and are now forced to live with daily threats to their safety in a country that is promoting state-sanctioned homophobia and transphobia. These threats come in the form of kidnappings, torture, random acts of violence, and bomb threats.

Despite these facts, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the IOC have denied that Russia’s anti-gay law is discriminatory. This is simply untrue — and the law continues to have devastating effects on LGBT Russians, their families and their supporters.

As you know, a country that hosts the Olympics has an obligation to uphold the values contained in the Olympic Charter and its principle of non-discrimination, Principle 6. The Russian government has failed to do this, and the IOC has remained silent.

You are sponsors of the Sochi Games. You have invested millions in this sponsorship. Many of you are committed supporters of equality, extending protections and benefits to your LGBT employees. This is not only good for business but it is also the right thing to do. You also understand that discrimination has an economic cost that harms businesses and economies wherever it is found. Silence in the face of discrimination also carries reputational risks.

Yours Sincerely,

[/ecampaign]