On last Friday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, lead a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the protection of LGBT athletes, staff, and spectators during the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“The United States must do everything we can to protect those Americans who are traveling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter. Russia’s anti-LGBT laws defy basic human rights that should be guaranteed to everyone at all times and in all places,” said Congressman Nadler. “These laws are completely contrary to the uniting spirit of the Olympics, which brings diverse nations together in a spirit of peaceful and friendly competition.”
As the 2014 Winter Olympic Games approach, intolerance and persecution of LGBT individuals in Russia is growing. The Russian government has recently enacted a law that criminalizes publicly supporting LGBT equality. Punishable offenses include public acknowledgment of one’s orientation and displays of affection between same-sex partners. Foreign nationals found to be in violation of the law could be arrested and detained for up to 15 days.
83 members of Congress have signed the letter.