Out4Russia launched to lobby world leaders to take action against anti-gay laws

ILGA-Europe also calls for leaders to ‘openly and firmly confront Russia’

A new website has been launched as a conduit for users to press world leaders to act on Russia’s anti-gay laws and abuses, Pink News reports.

Out4Russia was created by the group Out4Marriage, which developed the LobbyALord campaign that targeted members of the House of Lords ahead of the Royal Assent of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act for England and Wales.

“It is important that LGBT people stand up for human rights both in their own country and internationally. Our new website allows anyone from around the world to add their support to the campaign,” campaign director James-J Walsh says in the report.

“By using Out4Russia you can directly lobby G20 governments and leadership by calling on them to stop either direct or indirect state endorsed human rights abuses.”

Direct tweets and emails can be sent to members of the G20 who are set to meet in St Petersburg, Russia, next week.

Earlier, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association for the European region (ILGA-Europe) also called on European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to speak out about the “deep crisis” in Russia.

“The homosexuality anti-propaganda law is just one example of this,” Pink News quotes ILGA-Europe’s executive board co-chair Gabi Calleja as saying.

“So far Russia ignored all statements by international human rights organizations and case-law of the UN Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights. That is why our coalition of human rights organizations is calling on the world leaders to openly and firmly confront Russia.”

Calleja added, “Democracy and respect for human rights are the core values of the European Union and a corner stone of its relations and policies towards all other countries. EU leaders cannot remain silent when those principles are brutally violated, and they need to make this crystal clear to President Putin.”

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

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