All Out has worked closely with partners in Russia to fight the country's anti-gay legislation – outrageous laws that ban anything considered "propaganda of non-traditional relationships".
But with the Winter Olympics headed to Sochi, we had a critical opportunity to mobilize and raise global awareness about the persecution to LGBT+ people happening in Russia. Our campaign started almost 200 days before the opening ceremony.
We started by gathering more than 322,000 signatures on a global petition calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to speak out against Russia's anti-gay laws.
On 7 August 2013, more than 50 All Out members in Switzerland delivered our signatures directly to the IOC headquarters in Geneva. It was the largest petition ever received by the IOC and the first time they agreed to meet with an LGBT+ rights group.
We also captured the delivery on video:
On 3 September 2013, on the eve of the G20 Summit, All Out members took to the streets in a giant demonstration of solidarity and love at Global Speak Outs worldwide – pushing world leaders to speak out against Russia's anti-gay law (and even Lady Gaga helped get the word out!).
Join people all around the world today to speak out for equality in Russia! Find a local event at http://t.co/vfQbfBQCBw #Russia4Love— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) 3 September 2013
In more than 30 cities and 20 countries around the world, thousands took it to the streets to share messages of love and support for LGBT+ Russians. Check out some of the amazing photos from these events.
On September 3rd, All Out members took to the streets in a giant demonstration of solidarity and love at Global Speak Outs worldwide - standing for love and equality in the face of Russia's anti-gay...
In October 2013, All Out directed its attention to corporate Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonald's.
More than 150,000 All Out members emailed the CEO of Coca-Cola, urging the company to denounce Russia's anti-gay laws. Our voices were amplified when we hired 3 huge advertising trucks to surround their headquarters in Atlanta with billboards demanding, "Coca- Cola, speak out now."
Another shot of our message to @CocaCola swarming their HQ: #Russia #LGBT pic.twitter.com/6Socmu7Py4— All Out (@AllOut) 28 October 2013
With the countdown to the Olympics heating up in November, we launched #LoveAlwaysWins, a touching two-minute video that invites viewers to imagine what its like for LGBT+ athletes to participate in the Sochi games.
Reaching more than 1.5 million views around the globe, the video has sparked attention and conversation surrounding the anti-gay legislation in Russia.
In December 2013, All Out joined forces with Athlete Ally, American Apparel, GLAAD and more than 50 Olympians to create Principle 6, a campaign to celebrate the Olympic principle of non-discrimination and to call for an end to Russia's anti-gay laws before the Games in Sochi.
20 days til Sochi Olympics. Help get dozens of athletes supporting #P6 and equality in Russia! Join us: http://t.co/CMrhYRgmai— All Out (@AllOut) 17 January 2014
The P6 campaign – as we called it – used the language of the Olympic Charter to give athletes and fans a way to speak out against discrimination during the Sochi Olympics without breaking Russian anti-gay laws or violating the Olympic ban on political speech.
American Apparel produced and distributed P6 gear online and in their stores globally. Proceeds from the clothing line helped supported the campaign and Russian LGBT+ groups.
American Apparel. Athlete Ally. All Out. We're with #P6. Support the cause: http://t.co/FKImMdC6aZ pic.twitter.com/lJB69ZXU7k— American Apparel (@americanapparel) 11 January 2014
Celebrities like Rihanna, Mark Ruffalo, and Zachary Quinto wore P6 gear and shared the message of love and equality on social media. We also got 50 Olympic champions to join our campaign. Love and equality became the name of the game.
#P6 @voguemagazine @alexanderwangny @athleteally ---- http://bruni.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/fashion-fairness-and-the-olympics #AntiDiscrimination
437.6k Likes, 4,740 Comments - @badgalriri on Instagram: "#P6 @voguemagazine @alexanderwangny @athleteally ----..."
On 5 February 2014, All Out members did it again: public demonstrations happened simultaneously around the world urging Olympic sponsors to speak out against Russia's anti-gay laws.
Wow, #London! Look at the turnout for the Olympic Sponsors Global Speak Out today (in front of @McDonalds) #P6 pic.twitter.com/6zUBKkICml— All Out (@AllOut) 5 February 2014
In September 2014, the IOC officially announced it would be introducing a specific anti-discrimination clause to its host city contract, meaning no future host city could discriminate against athletes or spectators because of who they are or who they love – a huge victory for our movement!
Olympic anti-discrimination clause introduced after Sochi gay rights row
After the controversy that surrounded Russia's anti-gay laws before the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has introduced a specific anti-discrimination clause to its host city contract.
Three months later, the IOC also announced they would be revising Principle 6 to explicitly mention "sexual orientation".
IOC adds sexual orientation to anti-discrimination policy
The International Olympic Committee unanimously approved a revision of its non-discrimination policy Monday to include sexual orientation, a step sparked by Russian lawmakers' passage of laws before the Sochi games that banned "gay propaganda." The language will also be included in contracts between the IOC and future host cities.