Celebrities are being asked to snap photos of themselves wearing the t-shirt via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or other social media to encourage their followers to also buy t-shirts and post photos of themselves. All net proceeds from shirt sales will go to a fund supporting gay-rights efforts in Russia, according to HRC.
HRC and other LGBT groups and activists are concerned about the anti-gay law passed in Russia this year banning “gay propaganda” and its connection to a rising tide of homophobia in the country.
It was on June 30 when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed what has become known as Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.
Activists fear the law, passed unanimously by the Russian parliament, is so vague it could prohibit being openly gay or advocating for gay rights in any way. Individuals face fines; organizations face fines and closure for 90 days. Foreigners can be fined, detained for 15 days and deported; four Dutch activists have already been charged.
Putin told the head of the International Olympic Committee on Oct. 28 that gay people will be welcome at the 2014 Winter games in Sochi despite the country’s anti-gay law passed earlier this year that has been the subject of calls for boycotts and severe criticism.
“We are doing everything, both the organizers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation” Putin told Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
A protest at Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta was held last week by LGBT group All Out urging the corporate giant and major sponsor of the Olympics to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay law.