Target: Famed U.S. athlete Nick Symmonds
Goal: Commend Nick Symmonds for standing up for gay people around the world
Russia is facing harsh criticism because of its strict anti-gay laws. President Putin signed into law two large restrictions on gay Russians. The first was a law that banned gay people from adopting children, and the second was a law that banned gay ‘propaganda.’ It is difficult to be able to promote gay rights in Russia because it is now illegal.
Many celebrities and political figures have spoken out against Russia’s new laws, and some people are even boycotting Russian goods. A U.S. athlete, who was in Moscow for the World Athletics Championships, spoke about the new Russian laws. Nick Symmonds, a runner who won the silver medal in the men’s 800 meter final, became the first foreign athlete to criticize the discriminative Russian laws.
Symmonds spoke about how he disagreed with the views of the Russian government towards gay people. He said, “I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them.” After he won the silver medal, he dedicated it to all of his gay and lesbian friends to show his support of gay rights. He has been a support of the cause for a long time.
He also said that he would proudly wear a gay flag around him after winning the race, but he did not want to end up in jail for it in Russia. The ‘propaganda’ law forbids any public display of gay rights so Symmonds would have ended up in jail if he did that. Symmonds spoke out about his support of gay rights and his sympathy for the gays facing Russian oppression. Commend Symmonds by signing the petition below.
Dear Nick Symmonds,
Recently, you won a silver medal in the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. You are a staunch believer in equal rights for everyone, so this put you at odds with the new Russian laws that discriminate against LGBT people. Even though you were on Russian soil, you were not afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
You spoke about how you have always supported gay rights and how you were against Russia’s gay ‘propaganda’ law and ban on gay adoption. By doing this, you became the first foreign athlete to speak out about Russia’s harsh laws.
Not many have the courage to stand up to the Russian government while on Russian soil. Your statements about gay rights were very bold and it is evident that you support equality for all. Thank you for using your influence to stand up for what is right.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: 757Live via flickr