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"Logo Town Hall" Opens Dialogue on LGBT Discrimination in Russia

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What's happening to LGBT people in Russia?  What exactly is "gay propaganda," the subject of Russia's prohibitive new law?  How should the LGBT community in the United States respond?  Logo TV, in conjunction with AllOut.org, will begin to answer these questions and more during a live, interactive discussion on Tuesday, September 10, at 4pm EST, on NewNowNext.com. Featuring a roundtable of organizers, legal experts, and Olympic athletes, the hour-long program will "explore the facts and myths surrounding the law and the international backlash — which has included a boycott on Russian products — as well as the controversy surrounding the US participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics."

In response to a flurry of news reports and photo-essays revealing the severity of state-sanctioned homophobia in the former Soviet nation, LGBT communities around the world have demanded a range of actions.  Reminiscent of Harvey Milk's Coors boycott in the early 1970s, some activists have called for a boycott of Russian vodka.  And drawing comparisons with Nazi Germany's 1936 Summer Olympics, many LGBT organizers and journalists have provoked criticism of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the International Olympic Committee.  Last Tuesday, September 3, GLAAD partnered with AllOut.org, an LGBT group on the movement's international front, to organize a Global Speakout for Russia to send messages of support and solidarity to LGBT people in Russia.  The speakout spanned 34 cities in 21 countries, amplifying the voices of supporters of equality and their message that "Love Always Wins."

While these calls to action have drawn substantial visibility to this issue, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the many dimensions to a conflict largely taking place a hemisphere away.  Part of The Logo Town Hall series, which aims to "deliver thought-provoking, balanced discussions surrounding issues facing the LGBT community," "Logo Town Hall: Russia vs. The Gays" will help break down precisely what's going on in Russia, as well as the responses of groups outside Russia.  The program, streamed live, will allow viewers to participate in the discussion using the hashtag #LogoTownHall on Twitter, Instagram, and even Vine.  Viewers can also submit questions and reactions by posting them to Logo's Facebook page

Hosted by former ESPN radio host Jared Max, the round-table discussion will feature guests including Andre Banks, Co-Founder and Executive Director at AllOut.org; Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis; Roman Mamonov, a Russian freelance journalist and recent asylum applicant; and Nina Long, Co-President of RUSA LGBT.  GLAAD has been working closely with RUSA LGBT, an organization advocating on behalf of LGBT Russians, to ensure that their stories are shared on national and international media outlets.

Logo Town Hall will be streaming live on NewNowNext.com on Tuesday, September 10, at 4pm EST.  You can start submitting questions and comments now, though, on Logo's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/logo

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