Palm Beach, FL, February 7, 2014…On the eve of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) National Executive Committee passed a resolution today condemning “in the strongest terms” Russia’s oppressive law against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The resolution was unanimously approved.
Signed into law in June 2013 by President Vladimir Putin, the law criminalizes advocacy for equal rights for LGBT individuals, gay-pride parades, and any distribution of information about the gay and lesbian community to minors -- branding it “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.”
“There have been numerous cases reported of LGBT hate crimes and skinhead violence in Russia, to which the police often fail to respond. This practice is abhorrent and begets a culture steeped in discrimination and bigotry that is extremely vicious in nature,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Russia’s oppression of the LGBT community reminds us of the persecution of the Jewish community under the former Soviet Union. In the spirit of that movement, we must act again.”
The resolution, approved during the League’s annual National Executive Committee Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, resolved to “condemn in the strongest terms” the Russian law, and other laws stigmatizing and criminalizing LGBT people. The National Executive Committee is the League’s highest policymaking body.
The resolution indicated ADL would “draw on the Soviet Jewry advocacy experience as an inspiration to support efforts to push back against Russia’s bigoted law and others like it,” while calling on governments, civil society, and corporate sponsors to raise awareness of this injustice and demonstrate support for Russia’s LGBT community and other targeted minorities across Russia.