On August 7, All Out, an international LGBT advocacy organization, will deliver a petition with more than 300,000 signatures to the International Olympic Committee, whose leaders have agreed to receive the petition.
In addition to delivering the petition, All Out will also provide a letter from British actor Stephen Fry and thousands of signatures from Athlete Ally supporters, including Four Time Olympic Gold Medalist and Athlete Ally Ambassador Greg Louganis and other former Olympians to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters.
This global call is urging the International Olympic Committee to condemn Russia's anti-gay law before the Olympic Games, denounce the laws and urge Russia to ensure the security of all visitors, athletes and Russian people, before, during, and after the Games.
Olympians and athletes from around the world shared statements of solidarity with All Out and Athlete Ally ahead of the petition delivery, including four time Olympic Gold medalist Greg Louganis, NFL linebacker Brendon Ayabadejo, Championship Tennis player Mardy Fish, Australian Women’s Cricket player Alex Blackwell, and Israeli Basketball Super League Dan Grunfeld.
The current anti-gay law in Russia includes a provision that allows the government to detain foreigners for 14 days before possible expulsion. The following activities could be construed as a violation of the new national law for participants in the Sochi Olympics:
- A journalist covering the impact of the laws on gay communities in Russia
- A global citizen living outside of Russia posting a global petition urging the end of the anti-gay crackdown
- Two sisters holding hands in the street of Sochi, or any other cities of Russia
- Any event that would talk positively about being LGBT in Russia, from prides to conferences, or even film festivals and book fairs
“The International Olympic Committee has a real opportunity to visibly show its support for LGBT people and to advocate for the safety of all LGBT people in Russia by calling on the Russian government to end these Draconian laws," said Omar Sharif Jr., National Spokesperson for GLAAD. "Until it does, athletes, journalists, and fans are at risk while attending the Olympic Games in Sochi, not to mention the day-to-day struggles of LGBT people living in Russia."