A U.S. human rights organization is pressuring President Obama to appoint LGBT community leaders to the official Olympics delegation for the upcoming Sochi Games as a form of protest against Russia's anti-gay laws. Miami Herald reports:
Human Rights First, in a recent letter to senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, said "the selection of the members of the official U.S. delegations for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics is an important opportunity to signal to Russia and the world the priority the Obama administration places on equality and human dignity."
"We urge you to ensure that the U.S. delegation include prominent LGBT people – athletes, government officials and others – as well as allies of the LGBT community who will carry a message of tolerance and respect for individual rights and human dignity."
Obama has denounced the Russian law, but the White House has yet to decide whom it will send to Sochi to represent the United States at the games' ceremonies. The international sporting event will be Feb. 7-23.
"I think we've been very clear in our views about both the laws in place and the issues surrounding LGBT rights and our expectations of Russia when it comes to conducting the Olympics," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday.