IKEA responds to "Tell IKEA not to erase LGBT families in Russia" petition

IKEA recently included the story of Clara and Kirsty, a lesbian couple, in their magazine, IKEA Family Live. Although the story appeared in 24 countries, due to the propaganda law, IKEA did not release the story of Clara and Kirsty in the Russian version of IKEA Family Live. Many believe that IKEA is a powerful enough corporation to positively influence Russia and its stance on the anti-gay laws. Since Russia is a country in most need of support for its LGBT citizens, a petition was started on change.org.

After delivering 45,000 signaturesfrom the” Support LGBT people in Russia" petition, IKEA responded by including a statement on the IKEA website and on the Change.org website:

At IKEA, we believe in people

In the latest issue of our customer magazine IKEA FAMILY LIVE we ran a feature about two women, Kirsty and Clara, living in England with their child. The article appeared in 24 countries but not in Russia where a law prevents us from publishing it. It is a law that has been widely criticized but one that we have to comply with. However, we wanted to take the opportunity to speak about what the IKEA values mean and what we stand for. This is why the current online version of the magazine in 25 countries, including Russia, contains this letter from IKEA Group:

"At IKEA, we believe in people.

We are guided by our vision – to help create a better everyday life for the many people. We also believe you can be yourself as an IKEA co-worker, an IKEA customer or in your home. We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support the human rights of all people. And every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age.

This guides us and inspires us when we work together with our colleagues and the people in our value chain. After all, it’s our differences that make us great!

Petra Hesser, Human Resources, & Steve Howard, Sustainability, IKEA Group"

As an employer, we work purposefully and in a structured way to promote equal rights and equal opportunities. It is part of our code of conduct for everyone working for the IKEA Group and it is also a part of our diversity and inclusion approach.

We want the way we communicate our offer in different commercial channels to mirror the world around us and we believe that publishing an article featuring a lesbian couple in 24 countries is a good example of that. In some of these countries the subject is still considered to be controversial. In the long term, we believe that we can have a positive influence on societies in the countries where we operate by constantly working based on our values.

Best regards,

Greg Priest, Policy & Compliance Manager, IKEA Group

“IKEA has historically been a strong ally to the LGBT community, but they’ve really failed their LGBT costumers here, and particularly LGBT people in Russia. Based on IKEA’s history, they should have known better and need to issue a clear statement of support for LGBT Russians,” said Poltavtsev, President of Spectrum Human Rights.

Yelena Goltsman, founder and co-president of RUSA LGBT, called on IKEA to condemn Russia’s laws. “Companies doing business in Russia simply can’t remain silent anymore when it comes to the human rights violations of LGBT Russians,” Goltsman said. “It’s time for IKEA to do the right thing, stand by their corporate values of equality, and stand with LGBT Russians.”

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