(This post was originally published by SDGLN content partner GLAAD.)
All Out, an organization focused on tackling global LGBT issues, is calling for a global response to Russia’s anti-gay laws ahead of the G20 summit in St Petersburg on September 5 and 6. All Out is encouraging their 1.8 million worldwide members and partner organizations to participate in a “Global Speak Out” on September 3, 2013. Already dozens of events are planned worldwide, and the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and Truth Wins Out in the United States and the Peter Tatchell Foundation in the UK have endorsed the call to action.
“On September 3, the world will send a powerful and positive message to Russian leaders,” said Andre Banks, Executive Director and Co-Founder of All Out. “We will not rest until gay and lesbian Russians are free to be who they and love their families without fear. All over the world people will speak out on the side of love. History is on our side - love always wins.”
All Out is asking people around the world to organize or attend Global Speak Out events on September 3 in cities near them. Locations for events will include Russian Embassies, centers of national, state, or local governments, or town centers. All Out encourages people to remain peaceful and positive.
"Let’s be clear. Putin is breaking the law. The anti-gay laws and other crackdowns on Russian freedom violate Russia's own constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Declaration on Human Rights. People from around the world and their leaders must speak out and demand accountability," Banks said. "If we allow Putin to undermine basic freedoms for gay and lesbian Russians, we accept the destruction of these freedoms for all Russians - gay and straight. Putin is bound by law to protect human rights for every Russian citizen.”
On August 7th, All Out made international headlines after delivering more than 320,000 signatures to the International Olympic Committee headquarters urging the IOC to speak out forcefully against Russia’s anti-gay law. All Out also delivered the petition directly to Russia’s Ambassador to the UN in New York, where the Ambassador engaged in a debate with Andre Banks while media stood by watching.
GLAADis in partnership with several other organization to promote this event. GLAAD has also been working closely with Rusa LGBT, an organization that works to support LGBT Russians, are collaborating with multiple organizations to address the ongoing persecution of LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and oppression due to the recent passage of the country's draconian 'anti-gay propaganda' law.