Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing
On Friday, NBC circulated a memo reassuring gay and lesbian employees who may travel to Sochi, Russia during the Winter Olympics that the network will take steps to keep them safe.
In the memo, NBC Universal’s Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Craig Robinson called Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law “deeply troubling and diametrically opposed to everything that the Olympics symbolized.”
Two weeks ago, HRC called on NBC Universal to use its exclusive coverage of the games to expose the law, which criminalizes even the most modest gestures of support for LGBT individuals. Robinson wrote in the memo that the network will continue to cover the country’s human rights violations in its broadcast and cable news networks as the story evolves.
According to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, the IOC has received written assurances regarding the law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," but still requires clarification as to that regard.
Despite these unclear reassurances, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has continued to insist that Olympic athletes would "have to respect the laws of the country" during the Sochi Games.
From these statements, it appears as though the Russian government fully intends to implement this heinous law during the Sochi Games, putting at risk athletes and international travelers, as well as the countless LGBT Russians who will continue to endure the law long after the last medal is won.
Join HRC in calling on the IOC to speak out against the human rights abuses under way in Russia. Take action now.