August 23, 2013 Pride Toronto Endorses Action on Sochi Olympics
Supports Open Letter against Russia’s Attack on LGBTI Rights
Pride Toronto joins a host of institutions and organizations from across Canada to endorse a call to action in support of LGBTI rights in Russia. Following the enactment of draconian legislation in Russia against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people we have seen a rising tide of fear, violence and protests.
An open letter signed by more than 100 Canadian organizations calls upon the Canadian government, the Canadian and International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, corporate sponsors of the Sochi Olympics, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to place sustained pressure on the Russian government and to highlight human rights violations, defend basic freedoms and stop the brutal homophobic and transphobic environment Russian government policies have created.
“As an organization that stands for the rights and dignity of all people, particularly those of the LGBTI community we cannot stand idly by in the face of discrimination and violence endorsed and often perpetrated by government forces in Russia,” says Francisco Alvarez, Co-Chair, Pride Toronto.
Russia will host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi in February 2014. The Russian government’s active persecution of LGBTI people flies in the face of international human rights law and the spirit of the Olympic Games. We call upon the international community, those countries and organizations participating in the Games, and those corporations profiting from the Games, to not stand by in the face of state-sponsored terror against millions of its own people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and against their partners, families, friends and loved ones.
“We have joined with other organizations across Canada, who believe in civil liberties, freedom and an individual’s right to live free of state-sponsored hatred and violence for merely exercising their freedom of expression and association,” Says Sean Hillier, Co-Chair, Pride Toronto.
Therefore, Pride Toronto endorses the open letter put forward by Canadian civil society and the calls to action that can be found at: www.aidslaw.ca