With a petition on Change.org, the national chamber is warning companies sponsoring the Winter Olympics in Russia of the ramifications of violence against LGBT athletes and attendees.
The head of the International Olympic Committee claims to have received assurances over the weekend that Russia’s anti-gay law would not affect athletes or spectators.
Most LGBT groups are not convinced.
Tony Vedda, president and CEO of the North Texas Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said better corporations realize people need to feel safe to be productive.
“Is it a big stretch to believe it’s the same with sports?” he asked. “The IOC should show the courage to stand behind the principles they espouse.”
NGLCC’s petition urges sponsors of the games to use their influence to push the IOC to ensure the safety of LGBT athletes and spectators. Some of the Olympics’ biggest sponsors like Coca-Cola have Corporate Equality Index ratings of 100 percent.
The text of the petition is below.
Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee
I am joining the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) in requesting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sponsors of the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games present clear assurances for LGBT safety at the Games. I also request that the IOC amend its charter to include potential Olympic host countries be evaluated on human rights inclusive of LGBT people, as it does for other marginalized communities.
I agree with NGLCC’s belief that Russia’s recent anti-LGBT propaganda laws and the correlated uptick in violence against LGBT citizens pose a substantial threat to public safety, to the integrity of the Games, and to the brand of sponsors of the Games, if a clear statement about safety is not made.