HRC made an initial contribution of $100,000 in December, bringing HRC’s total contributions to $140,000.
The donation was made possible because individuals from around the world have joined HRC’s “Love Conquers Hate” campaign. The campaign raised awareness about the Russian government’s heinous law which outlaws even modest public support for LGBT equality. The effort has been bolstered by participation from a diverse group of prominent celebrities, athletes and politicians.
“The Russian government’s hateful campaign against its own people has been exposed and the world is watching,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC’s Global Engagement Program. “The Sochi Olympic Games shined the spotlight on Russia’s horrific and dangerous anti-LGBT law, but with the Olympics over, we can’t leave LGBT Russians behind.”
Today’s announced funds will be donated to the Russia Freedom Fund (www.russiafreedomfund.org). The fund seeks to create a safe environment for LGBT people in Russia by supporting local organizations that have been effective at combatting discrimination and violence. The fund is a U.S. tax deductible vehicle for making financial contributions in support of the LGBT movement in Russia.
Last year, Russia enacted an “anti-propaganda” law that outlaws even modest public gestures of support of the LGBT community. Fines for breaking the law are more severe if information promoting equality is distributed through the media or the internet. Foreigners breaking this law face arrest for up to 15 days followed by deportation. In September, a piece of legislation was proposed that would allow courts to take children away from parents who are LGBT or suspected of being LGBT. This state-sanctioned homophobia contributes to a culture of violence and harassment against the Russian LGBT community that goes unchecked by law enforcement.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.