It's time to come to the aid of our gay, lesbian and bi brothers and sisters in Russia. I've already signed this petition.
In five days, two men in Russia will face criminal prosecution for holding a simple sign that read, "Being gay is normal" -- the first victims of a new gay hate law. Let's build a massive outcry and put this sham trial on the international stage. Our action now can help brave activists on the ground stop the march of hate across Russia. Join the call:
Sign the petition In five days, two men in Russia will face criminal prosecution for holding signs that simply read, "Being gay is normal" -- they are first victims of St. Petersburg's new gay hate law. But international opposition to the law is mounting and our outcry could turn up the heat and force Russia to abandon their attack on free speech and equality.
Any mention of homosexuality is illegal in Russia's second-largest city and similar laws are being considered across the country -- making this test case key to stopping the march of hate. Even Madonna has joined in the fight, vowing to purposely breaking the law at an upcoming Russian concert. Let’s join her and brave gay activists on the ground to stop this discrimination in its tracks.
Our call now will put this outrageous trial on the international agenda and help force the repeal of the law. When we get to 500,000 signatures, our call will be delivered to the city government in St. Petersburg. Sign now and join the fight against hate:
This weekend, Sergei Kondrashov and Igor Kochetkov participated in a silent protest in St. Petersburg. They held up signs protesting intolerance and affirming equality. Police dragged them off, crumpling their signs and arresting them for “propaganda of sodomy and lesbianism”.
St. Petersburg is a test city for nationwide legislation. Following its lead, other local governments are introducing gay hate bills and there’s a real risk of a federal law to ban homosexual expression across the country. The US has spoken out against the law, but their diplomatic efforts have had little effect.
St. Petersburg wants to make an example of the two men, convicting them of a crime and forcing them to pay a fine that could be greater than the average Russian’s annual income! A small group of brave activists are fighting back and have asked for international attention and outcry to culminate at the outrageous trial. Let’s stand with them, against hate. Sign the petition:
Time and again, Avaaz members have joined together to fight the homophobia that dehumanizes all of us. Just last year, a million of us joined together to oppose the gay death penalty in Uganda -- and the bill was shelved. Let’s unite again, supporting a stronger world through tolerance.
Dalia, Antonia, Emma, Morgan, Ricken, Luca, Marie, Iain and the entire Avaaz team