1. Today, All Out delivered a petition to the International Olympic Committee calling for Russia’s anti-gay laws to be struck down.
All Out is an organization that takes action against gay rights violations across the world by creating petitions and organizing protests. All Out, along with Olympic athletes and ambassadors from Athlete Ally, created this petition in light of Russia’s recent human rights violations and anti-gay laws. Some have called for a boycott or move of the Olympics, but this petition calls for a complete reform of Russia’s laws.
2. The petition received more than 300,000 signatures from all over the world.
All Out traveled to Switzerland to personally deliver the petition along with a letter from Stephen Fry that condemns the current laws in Russia.
3. Andre Banks, Co-Founder and Executive Director of All Out, spoke about the outcry against Russia’s laws:
“Ironically, the global outcry is transforming Sochi into an amazing platform for Russians and athletes to defy the law and speak out on gay rights. If the IOC and Russian government do not take urgent action, the chorus of voices against these laws will dominate the conversation at the Sochi Games.”
4. The petition asked the IOC to take action against Russia’s propaganda laws.
Specifically, the petition asks “the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to condemn Russia’s anti-gay law before the Olympic Games, denounce the laws and urged Russia to ensure the security of all visitors, athletes and Russian people, before, during, and after the Games.”
5. Banks told BuzzFeed that the IOC knows that they have to act and respond to the public outcry.
The IOC has already asked the Russian government to suspend the laws for two weeks, said Banks, but that’s not good enough. “You can’t relax these laws for two weeks and then have the world walk away with some of the most abusive laws on the books.” And All Out won’t stop here. “We are going to take this directly to the Russian government, and we’re going to call on the companies that are sponsoring the Olympics and broadcasting the Olympics.”
6. This action came as President Obama also spoke out against the laws.
Banks said, “President Obama really got the message right. There should be zero tolerance for the anti-gay hate laws recently passed in Russia. Holding the Winter Olympics in Sochi with these laws in place is like holding the Games in Johannesburg at the height of apartheid.”