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Euro 2012: Germany's first openly gay pro football player calls on Merkel to denounce anti-gay laws in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Two days before the kick off of Euro 2012, All Out members are joining with the first openly gay professional football player in Germany, Marcus Urban, in urging Merkel to use the Euro 2012 to denounce human rights violations and the anti-gay crackdown happening now in Ukraine.

"We just learned that the anti-gay law is now scheduled for vote in two weeks, said Olena Shevchenko, chair of the Ukrainian LGBT organization Insight. In a move to make it illegal for anyone in Ukraine to say the word 'gay' in public, this anti-gay law -- Law 8711 -- is advancing through the Ukrainian Parliament, with no public opposition from the highest level of Ukrainian authorities."

The letter from Marcus Urban and signed by almost 20,000 All Out members reads "Chancellor Merkel, as Ukraine's key trade partner, you should give Yanukovych a "red card" by refusing to attend this month's Euro Cup and strongly urging him to denounce the laws in his Parliament that want to make saying 'gay' illegal."

See signatures and comments from signers HERE.

"Germany is a key partner for Ukraine within the European Union and has a huge influence on the country", said Andre Banks, co-founder of AllOut.org. "If Chancellor Angela Merkel follows the lead of French officials and also boycotts Euro 2012, it will make headlines everywhere and pressure Yanukovych to finally denounce the laws in his Parliament that want to make saying 'gay' illegal."

72,000 people have already joined All Out in urging the President of Ukraine to denounce these odious laws in a full ad page published in the Kiyv Post last Friday.

About All Out

AllOut.org is a global campaign organization of over 900,000 people from 190 countries around the world dedicated to LGBT equality. A movement working online and on the ground to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are, AllOut.org is adding global people power to the historic fight for LGBT equality.

About Marcus Urban

Marcus Urban was an East German soccer player, playing for second division team Rot-WeiƟ Erfurt in the 1990s, who came out as a gay man at a time when being a gay footballer was almost unheard of.