​Post submitted by Charlie Joughin, HRC Press Secretary

With less than two weeks until the 2014 Winter Olympic Games commence in Sochi, Russia, actress and comedienne Wanda Sykes appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Tuesday night with a t-shirt from the HRC's #LoveConquersHate campaign.  The campaign aims to support Russia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community which is being targeted by a hateful “anti-propaganda” law that prohibits public support for equality in the country.   
During her appearance as one of Jay Leno’s final guests as host of the Tonight Show, Sykes talked about her participation in HRC’s campaign and the need for more Americans to speak out against the heinous situation taking place in Russia.
“It’s criminal what they’re doing to the LGBT community in Russia,” Sykes said during the interview.  After joking about a number of reasons why she would not be traveling to Sochi for the Olympic Games, she added, “What I will do is wear a t-shirt to support them.  Human Rights Campaign has a [shirt] out and the proceeds go to help them.  And I brought one to you so if they ask you to go, you can say ‘No I’m going to wear a t-shirt.’”
HRC’s campaign is centered on a Russian version of its iconic LoveConquersHate t-shirt. 100% of net proceeds will benefit LGBT activists and advocacy groups in Russia.  Since its launch in November, a number of prominent celebrities, athletes and politicians have spoken out in support of the LGBT community in Russia through HRC’s #LoveConquersHate campaign.






In June, 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, such as those visiting Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, could face arrest and up to 15 days in jail followed by deportation.

Shortly after its passage, HRC president Chad Griffin sent a letter to the leadership of NBCUniversal, calling on the company to use its exclusive coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games to expose this heinous law.

For more information on HRC’s #LoveConquersHate campaign, visit loveconquershate.org

Filed under: International

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