USOC sponsor AT&T condemns Russia's anti-gay law

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 5, 2014 at 6:03 am •  Published: February 5, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor AT&T has condemned a Russian law restricting gay-rights activity as Sochi prepares to host the Winter Olympics.

The telecommunications giant said in a blog post that the law is harmful to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and harmful to a diverse society.

"We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere," AT&T said in the post.

AT&T said it was responding to a request from the Human Rights Campaign, which urged International Olympic Committee sponsors to stand up for LGBT equality. AT&T isn't an IOC sponsor, but says it supports the campaign's principles.

AT&T is the first major U.S. corporation to publicly condemn Russia's law, Human Rights Campaign officials said.

The Washington-based organization that pushes for civil rights for LGBT people called AT&T's move courageous.

"AT&T should be recognized for showing true leadership in opposing this hateful Russian law and other sponsors that have failed to lead should take corrective action immediately," the campaign said in a post on its website. "A company that claims to support LGBT equality should do so wherever it operates, not just in the United States."

The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in July, bans pro-gay "propaganda" that could be accessible to minors. Activists view the measure as forbidding almost any public expression of gay-rights sentiment. The law has extensive public support in Russia, where it cleared parliament virtually unopposed.



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