AT&T Protests Russia's Anti-Gay Law Ahead of Sochi Olympics

AT&T Protests Russia's Anti-Gay Law Ahead of Sochi Olympics

The U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor says it will stand against Russia's “harmful” law, three days before the opening ceremony in Sochi

AT&T, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced an official protest against Russia's anti-LGBT propaganda law Tuesday, three days before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi.

“AT&T has a long and proud history of support for the LGBT community in the United States and everywhere around the world where we do business,” the company wrote in a blog post titled “A Time for Pride and Equality.”

Also read: Olympics: No Gay People Live in Sochi, Mayor Insists

“We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere. Russia's law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it's harmful to a diverse society.”

The telecom company is referring to a controversial Russian law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” which has been the focus of worldwide protests ahead of the Sochi Olympic Games.

Also read: Olympics: Comcast CEO Says Sochi Games Are ‘Fantastic Way’ to Start 2014

Pro-gay group Human Rights Campaign requested International Olympics Committee sponsors put pressure on the organization to reject the law and support LGBT equality. AT&T explained in its blog post that, while its company is not an IOC sponsor and did not receive that request, it decided independently to publicly condemn the Russian policy.

“[W]e 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,” the post read.

Also read: Olympics Panic: NBC Defends Sochi Security Amid Terrorist Threats

“As the games begin, we're here to support and inspire American athletes who've worked hard and sacrificed much to achieve their dreams,” the blog continued. “We also want to be on record with our support for the LGBT community, and we hope that others involved with the Olympic Games will do the same.”

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics begin preliminary events on Thursday, followed by the opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. NBC for the first time will broadcast early competitions before the opening ceremony broadcast, which will air on tape delay at 7:30 p.m. ET.

  • Jimmy

    Good for them.

    • rulegal

      Yeah, the Russians? AT&T should worry about their service working and their billing systems being accurate first. Let Russia handle their own social issues. i doubt they care about what AT&T thinks.

  • Frank Rivera

    Who is AT&T to tell Russia how to act? It is clear that the company is led by sissys. They should worry about the stock holders and customers first instead of people with
    deviate sex practices. I will never do business with AT&T again!

    • aaron beard

      That's okay Frank…I just added 4 lines of service today and I can actually spell ‘deviant’ so they are likely to get my payment on a non-deviant schedule…why is it that we are still having to distinguish between pedophilia and homosexuality? Is it still that hard to figure out that they are completely unrelated? The practice and purpose of the Russian stance is merely cultural hegemony and an attempt to suppress freedom in yet another form…I love how all these so-called neo-cons can't get past their homophobic misgivings to realize that they are on the wrong side (yet again) of an issue.

      • Frank Rivera

        Wonderful you can spell and 69 a guy at the same time. No, I'm not homophobic. I'm not afraid of you.

  • Cecil bagsuck

    Good for AT&T finally standing up for right over wrong.

  • Guest

    @frank_rivera:disqus actually if you understand that AT&T is trying to reach out to all their stakeholders. Also, we do have a say in what is right and wrong in neighbouring nations. AT&T obviously take ethics seriously. I'm deeply apologetic that you never took any simple university business course and are simply stating your own opinion. Note that any statement made without justification should be dismissed WITHOUT justification. Thanks for giving us all a clear example of a statement made without justification.

    • Frank Rivera

      How do you know what classes I took in college? Who are you to decide what is justified? So you're deeply apologetic. Why don't you see how deeply you can enter your boyfriends butthole

  • Daniel Mackinnon

    @frank_rivera:disqus Actually if you understand that AT&T is trying to reach out to all their stakeholders, you'll know that they're actually an astonishing amount of good from a business standpoint. Also, we do have a say in what is right and wrong in neighbouring nations. AT&T obviously take ethics seriously. I'm deeply apologetic that you never took any simple university business course and are simply stating your own opinion. Note that any statement made without justification should be dismissed WITHOUT justification. Thanks for giving us all a clear example of a statement made without justification.

  • http://www.abicana.com/shop2.htm Knut Holt

    All humans have a gay part in their personality, smaller or greater, so this anti-gay laws actually violate everyone, not only those prefering to let their gay part take the major role.