Resolution on Sochi Olympics and Anti-LGBT Laws

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February 07, 2014

WHEREAS, today, February 7, 2014, the world turns its attention to the Opening Ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia;

WHEREAS, on June 30, 2013, President Vladimir Putin of Russian signed into law a bill that criminalized advocacy for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (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”;

WHEREAS, there have been numerous recent cases in Russia of unprosecuted violence arising from LGBT hatred,  and the U.S. State Department’s annual Human Rights Report notes the prevalence of anti-LGBT skinhead violence, to which the police often fail to respond;

WHEREAS, Russia’s oppression of the LGBT community reminds us of the persecution of the Jewish community under the former Soviet Union;

WHEREAS, the Anti-Defamation League played a leadership role in helping to mobilize a response to the discrimination against Jews in the former Soviet Union who, in addition to legal barriers to their freedom to emigrate, were not free to practice Judaism and express their identity in public with dignity and safety;

WHEREAS, ADL has a clear and consistent policy of championing the human rights of LGBT individuals, domestically and internationally, including opposing legislation that singles out people for discriminatory treatment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and has also called on countries like Uganda and Nigeria to repeal or reform laws that punish or criminalize LGBT people;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, ADL condemns in the strongest terms the Russian law, and other laws stigmatizing and criminalizing LGBT people, as well as the government’s failure to protect the Russian LGBT community from violence;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ADL will 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;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ADL calls 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;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ADL will continue to monitor Russia’s and other countries’ treatment of the LGBT community and commit to raising our collective voice when those communities are targeted by their government.

National Executive Committee
February 2014