Over 100 ‘Canadian Civil Society’ Organizations Call For Action on Sochi Olympics, Anti-Gay Russia

The Government of Canada should:

  • continue to speak out publicly against Russia’s anti-gay legislation and homophobic and transphobic violence being visited upon LGBT people in Russia, and continue to communicate its objections directly to Russian authorities at the highest levels;
  • add the sponsors of anti-LGBT legislation in Russia to the list of those banned from obtaining visas to enter Canada;
  • identify opportunities to proactively support LGBT rights advocates in Russia in defending basic human rights;
  • oppose the “traditional values” resolution being advanced by Russia at the UN, which is a patent attempt to cloak bigotry and hate in the legitimacy of a Human Rights Council resolution; and
  • use this opportunity to publicly announce its commitment to ongoing support for the UN’s recently- launched “Free and Equal” initiative for LGBT rights.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee(IPC) should:

  • host Pride House in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics;
  • speak out during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games against anti-LGBT violence and against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including legislative discrimination such as Russia’s; and
  • include explicit reference in their respective Charters to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as incompatible with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, as is already done with grounds such as race, gender and religion. (We note and welcome that the Paralympic Movement has already included sexual orientation.)

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have authority over Canada’s representation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The leadership and athletic delegations of the COC and CPC should:

  • publicly and privately support, without reservation, any individual athletes, whether they identify as LGBT or not, who choose to use their opportunities at the Games (e.g., when accepting medals) to display their support for the rights of LGBT people;
  • issue a statement condemning homophobic laws and anti-LGBT violence in Russia;
  • participate visibly as the Canadian delegation in the Sochi Winter Pride events being organized by Russian LGBT activists;
  • offer to join the IOC and IPC in hosting Pride House at the Games; and
  • use the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games to visibly support LGBT human rights as a country delegation.

Corporate sponsors of the Sochi Games, including the top 10 sponsors named above, should:

  • publicly state their opposition to Russia’s homophobic legislation and anti-LGBT violence in Russia;
  • withdraw their sponsorship of the Games unless the Russian government abolishes the “anti-propaganda law” and guarantees freedom of expression, association, assembly and information, including for LGBT people; and
  • publicly redirect a significant portion of those sponsorship funds, through independent foundations and multilateral initiatives, to support the defense and promotion of LGBT rights, and human rights more broadly, in Russia.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), as exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the Sochi Games, should:

  • commit to reporting, before, during and after the Sochi Games, on human rights abuses in Russia, including against LGBT people, other minorities and political dissidents targeted by the Russian government.


  1. Randy says

    Too bad Canadian figure skater Patrick “I don’t have time to preoccupy myself with that kind of stuff” Chan doesn’t agree.

    He may be on Canada’s team, but I won’t be cheering for him. I don’t have the time.

  2. John says

    I call on all people – gay, straight, whatever – to boycott all sponsors of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

    This means stop buying Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble products, stop eating at McDonald’s, stop using your Visa card (indeed, return it to the provider with a letter explaining why you are no longer going to use your Visa). And DO NOT WATCH THE OLYMPICS ON TV, THE INTERNET WHEREVER!

    If your local government, school board, etc., has an exclusive agreement with Coca-Cola or any other sponsor, contact your local politicians and demand that these contracts be broken due to the lack of an adequate response to this major civil rights issue.

    Only by flexing our collective economic clout will we make a difference.

    Ask yourself, if the Russian government decided that it would implement anti-Black, anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim laws, the backlash would be overwhelming! Why should it be any less overwhelming in the case of anti-queer legislation?

  3. jonny says

    Too bad people don’t get so up in arms about the horrors against gays in places in the Middle East or Africa. Very Euro centric.

    Don’t get me wrong but it’s important to fight the battle but worse things are being done elsewhere in the world against gays and they get little attention.

  4. José Luis Santos says

    I agree with your campaign. That’s why I would like you to help us to withdraw one of the most important prizes in Spain, given in 2009 to Yelena Isinbayeva.

    Our petitions at Change.org:



    Thanks for your support!

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