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Sign the Petition to

Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

TO: Navanethem Pillay,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Officially drawing together global citizens, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held in the same country that conspired with Hitler's regime less than 100 years ago. Stalin's rise to power produced the Great Purge (1936 - 1939, exiling or murdering unwanted citizens) and eventual joining of forces with Hitler during World War II (pact made in 1939). Historians estimate between 5,000 - 15,000 gay men were sent to concentration camps during WWII; and up to 60% died while imprisoned. Under Stalin's leadership, Russia's criminalization of homosexuality began in 1933. Sixty years later Pres. Boris Yeltsin repealed these unjustifiable set of laws. Outrageously, nineteen years later, Vladimir Putin during his second tenure as president has developed a new wave of persecution based on sexual orientation.

Pres. Putin is not behaving like a world-class leader of the Russian people, but as an inhumane dictator with an agenda - just like Stalin and Hitler. If this behavior remains unchallenged, then we may soon witness another Great Purge, or worse, genocide of gender and sexual minorities. The estimated 78 countries that already support criminalization could easily join forces with Russia. This potential alignment could result in an unprecedented persecution of LGBTQ individuals - both suspected and confirmed.

For the sake of humanity's "unwanted citizens," we demand the United Nations take action and challenge Pres. Putin's unethical abuse of leadership. Empower the Russian people to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals from legalized persecution. Enact sanctions against the Russian government for not upholding universal human rights as recognized among the United Nations.

Please take every necessary action to prevent Stalin-like behavior from developing into a global witch-hunt of LGBTQ individuals. The guilt of crimes against humanity belong not only to its leaders but also to those who remain silent. Global silence, especially among those in positions of power, bears the same guilt Pres. Putin now carries for persecuting suspected and confirmed lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. Now is the time to break our silence and stand up for humanity's unwanted citizens!


Suzanne Coleman

This petition closed over 4 years ago

How this will help


Essentially, Anti-LGBTQ propaganda laws empower Russian police and citizens to brutalize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals, and straight allies. Sign...

Essentially, Anti-LGBTQ propaganda laws empower Russian police and citizens to brutalize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals, and straight allies. Sign this petition to pressure the U.N. Human Rights leader to order sanctions (penalties for violating Universal Human Rights) against Russia and Pres. Putin.

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As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay has a proven track record of supporting equal rights regardless of gender or sexual orientation (see official bio). Pillay and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) work closely with U.N. member nations to identify universal human rights, educate, and empower stakeholders to uphold these principles (read more about the OHCHR).


Russia adopted the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which includes Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Fear as two of the Four Freedoms. By adopting the Universal Declaration, Russia has agreed to abide by its legal requirements and consequences. Based on this mutual agreement, the U.N. has every right to enact sanctions against Russia for violating the Universal Declaration.

The anti-gay propaganda laws do not explicitly declare the right for police and/or the public to attack lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer individuals. It would seem unreasonable to conclude that the propaganda laws directly violate human rights in the sense of personal safety. However, these laws explicitly prohibit freedom of speech regarding a specific topic - sexual orientation apart from heterosexuality. Consequently, not only has the LGBTQ community lost this freedom, the community has received increased persecution from an already present public attitude against homosexuality. Thus, the LGBTQ community lives in a cultural climate of fear.


If one segment of society loses its universal freedoms, then all segments of society are in danger of the same threat. The Universal Declaration doesn't exist to define a universal moral code, but to ensure everyone has equal access to a basic set of freedoms necessary for a happy, successful life without infringing on the rights of other individuals.

To some, the anti-gay propaganda laws may seem harmless. On the contrary, they reinforce the consequences of heteronormativity. It seems like those who support the anti-gay propaganda laws and/or those who believe those laws do not threaten human rights are unaware of the collateral damage such support and beliefs cause against LGBTQ individuals - especially youth. If LGBTQ youth do not believe there is hope for having a happy, successful future similar to their straight peers, then they are more likely to experience higher rates of depression and suicide (see Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence PDF).
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