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Senator Casey Calls on Russian President Putin to Protect LGBT Athletes at 2014 Olympic Games

The Russian government’s recent passage of legislation criminalizing public discussion of LGBT equality is deeply troubling to all of us. The new legislation criminalizes discussion of LGBT rights and punishes anyone who openly acknowledges their orientation or gender identity.

Lawmakers here in the United States are speaking out against this dangerous legislation since Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko stated that the law would be enforced at the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014.

On August 7th, Pennsylvania’s Senior U.S. Senator Bob Casey sent a letter to President Putin, calling on him to protect LGBT athletes and guests at the upcoming Olympic Games. The Senator is urging President Putin to make clear that LGBT Olympians and guests will not be prosecuted at the Olympic Games.

In the letter, Senator Casey states:

“All governments should work to protect their citizens’ fundamental freedoms. This legislation not only threatens athletes and guests attending the Olympics, but is a constant threat to the safety and liberty of LGBT individuals living in Russia. I strongly urge you to prioritize values central to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and shared by the United States, including freedom from harassment and promotion of individual liberties. To that end, I urge you to support efforts to overturn the recently enacted legislation and work to ensure safety and equality for LGBT citizens as well as international guests.”

Click here to read the full text of Senator Casey’s letter.

The law passed by the Russian government harms all LGBT individuals worldwide, especially as athletes make their way to the Olympic Games in 2014. We thank Senator Casey for calling on President Putin to protect LGBT athletes and guests and for his continuous support of our community!

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