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Companies Publicly Condemn Russia's Anti-Gay Laws As Winter Games Begin

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PopWrapped

@PopWrapped
02/06/2014 10:26 pm
Companies Publicly Condemn Russia's Anti-Gay Laws As Winter Games Begin
Media Courtesy of Getty Images
Bradleigh-Ann Walker Staff Writer As the nation hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia’s anti-gay policies are prompting companies to verbalize their disagreement—and even take more drastic action, according to The Gaily Grind. Lager brand Budweiser has decided to remove all of its employees from the sporting event, and completely cancel its party spot. It’s known for hosting parties during past Olympic Games, but the situation in Sochi seems to be too uncomfortable for them to continue with their tradition this year. A representative for Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser’s parent company) confirmed to TMZ Sports that “Club Bud” won’t be happening in Sochi, but no official reason was given. Meanwhile, other companies are letting Russia know just what their stance is on its laws. “The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’. To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality. AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a long-standing sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law,” communications giant AT&T posted to its blog on Tuesday. In response, the HRC commended AT&T for its boldness. “AT&T should be recognized for showing true leadership in opposing this hateful Russian law, and other sponsors that have failed to lead should take corrective action immediately. A company that claims to support LGBT equality should do so wherever it operates, not just in the United States, and we call on all Olympic Sponsors to follow AT&T’s lead and publicly denounce Russia’s anti-LGBT law,” the organization said in a statement. Chobani was the next company to take the momentous step. “We oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT law,” Chobani yogurt’s CEO told CNBC point-blank. Not only are businesses condemning the anti-gay laws, but the United Nations won’t stand for the injustice either. Secretary general Ban-Ki-moon spoke to the International Olympic Committee before the opening ceremony in Sochi on Friday. “The United Nations stands strongly behind our own ‘free and equal’ campaign, and I look forward to working with the IOC, governments and other partners around the world to build societies of equality and tolerance. Hatred of any kind must have no place in the 21st century,” he declared. Will other companies follow Budweiser, AT&T, and Chobani in their groundbreaking public stance? Stay tuned to PopWrapped for updates.

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