Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin is getting tough with sponsors of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Griffin last night sent a strongly-worded letter to ten top corporate sponsors who are spending vast sums to align their brands with what is quickly becoming a tarnished one: the Olympics.
“Your logos and marketing will appear alongside every event, indelibly linking your brand to what happens in Sochi,” Griffin told the CEOs. “By staying quiet at this moment you run the risk of being associated with profoundly anti-LGBT behavior.
HRC is asking CEOs from Dow Chemical, Coca Cola, General Electric, McDonalds, Proctor & Gamble, Panasonic, Samsung, Omega, Visa, and Atos to do the following:
- Adopt a clear and unequivocal public position in opposition to anti-LGBT laws like the one adopted by the Russian government.
- Denounce targeted violence against LGBT people in Russia and demand investigation and accountability from Russian authorities.
- Ask the IOC to obtain concrete, written commitments from the Russian government about the safety of international Olympic athletes and attendees—and urge the IOC to reject future Olympic bids from countries with laws that outlaw support for LGBT equality.
- Affirm unequivocal support for non-discrimination and equality, and ensure that policies and practices reflect this commitment.
- Put marketing and creative advertising resources to use—helping to build awareness and demonstrate support for LGBT equality in Russia and globally.
- Support the local LGBT community in Russia.
Griffin notes “there is a shadow over the 2014 Winter Olympic Games…generated by the documented hate-based violence against lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia.” And he specifically points to Russian president Vladimir Putin and his war on gays as the cause, citing his “draconian laws.”
Read the letter:
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