The Olympic Games is an international sporting event that is supposed to celebrate the values of diversity and fairness among all peoples. Yet the host of the February 2014 Winter Olympics, the Russian Federation, has recently established draconian and discriminatory laws that violate the basic rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Specifically, the laws severely limit freedom of speech, prohibit anyone from making “pro-gay” statements either vocally, in print or online, and even outlaw same-sex couples showing affection in public, all of which has led to an increase in violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Throughout its history, the Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU) has been proud to stand up for the rights of equity-seeking groups. The CCU believes that equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people is a fundamental characteristic of a free and democratic society.
Our union stands with people across Russia calling on their government to repeal these laws and stop violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
We call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to also take a stand against this violation of human rights in Russia. We also urge political leaders from around the world and within Russia to work towards guaranteeing equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and protecting all citizens from discrimination.