Today the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs released a video featuring the U.S. Olympic team, the U.S. Paralympic team and recreational athletes.
The “We Are All Athletes” video features athletes of varying gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and abilities. Openly gay hockey player Chris Brand is featured in the video hugging another man as they exit the rink.
This celebration of the United States' diversity, social inclusion, sportsmanship and teamwork as our delegation of 230 athletes head off to Sochi projects a powerful message of equality to Russia.
Meanwhile, the situation in Russia continues to unravel as violence toward and persecution of the LGBT community and its supporters increases.
LGBT Russians have faced assault, fear of prosecution for advocating for equality and now the threat of their children being taken away as the parliament prepares to debate yet another anti-LGBT measure after the Olympics.
Just this week, an editor of a Russian newspaper was fine $1,400 dollars for running an interview with an openly geography teacher. And today Russian authorities reportedly filed charges against the head of an online support group for LGBT teens. The case is being brought against Elena Klimova, who runs Children-404, which posts stories from Russian LGBT teenagers on the Russian version of Facebook, VKontakte.
To join HRC in support of LGBT Russians, visit www.hrc.org/russia.