HRC Launches “Love Conquers Hate” Campaign Supporting Russia’s LGBT Community Ahead of Sochi Games

by Charles Joughin

Jonah Hill, Kristen Bell, Fergie, Kelly Osbourne, Kevin Bacon and others to participate in campaign

WASHINGTON – With the Sochi Olympic Games just a few months away, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today launched its “Love Conquers Hate” campaign to support the members of Russia’s LGBT community, who are being targeted by a hateful “anti-propaganda” law that prohibits public support for equality in the country.    

The campaign will feature a diverse group of prominent celebrities, athletes and politicians, speaking out in support of the LGBT community in Russia, and helping to raise awareness about the Russian government’s ongoing campaign of homophobia. Participants for the Love Conquers Hate campaign include: Jonah Hill, Kristen Bell, Fergie, Kelly Osbourne, Kevin Bacon, Jaime Lee Curtis, America Ferrera, Ricky Martin, Perez Hilton, Doutzen Kroes, Anthony Bourdain, Wentworth Miller, Taryn Manning, Tim Gunn, Jozy Altidore, Todd Glass, Jonathan Del Arco, Amanda Furrer, Amanda Leigh Dunn, Ana Matronic, Craig Gibbons, Jason Collins, Lori Lindsey, Maggie Rose, Megan Rapinoe, with many more to come.

Participants will share a photo of themselves wearing the Russian-language version of HRC’s iconic Love Conquers Hate t-shirt on their social media platforms with the hashtag #LoveConquersHate, encouraging their followers from around the world to do the same.  Each photo that is shared with the campaign hashtag will be aggregated at 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts will go to a fund that supports LGBT advocates in Russia.

"Love and equality are universal values that aren't limited by language or national borders," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "We stand with Russia’s LGBT community and their allies, and we are committed to doing as much as we possibly can to support their efforts to repeal this heinous law.”

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, 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.

Since the anti-propaganda law in Russia passed, HRC President Chad Griffin and HRC members and supporters have called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to publicly condemn the law and call for its repeal.  HRC has also asked corporate sponsors of the IOC to condemn Russia's anti-LGBT law, support Russian LGBT advocates, and advocate for equality worldwide.

Over the next several months leading up to the Sochi Olympic Games, HRC will undertake additional efforts to support the Russian LGBT community and expose the Russian government’s crackdown on the human rights of LGBT Russians.

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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.

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