Equal rights activists are pressuring retail giant IKEA, urging the company to take a bold stand against Russia’s crackdown on gay rights, after the company erased photos and a feature of a LGBT family from a recent Russian publication, and refused to condemn Russia’s harsh anti-gay laws.
IKEA has come under global criticism after 40,000 people signed a petition on Change.org, started by RUSA LGBT, a Russian-speaking LGBT organization based in the U.S., demanding that IKEA republish their Russian magazine with the photo and feature of the LGBT family, and asking the company to take a firm stand against Russia’s ban on promoting LGBT rights.
The photo and feature in IKEA’s magazine featured a lesbian couple, Clara and Kirsty, and discussed how the couple and their baby became closer while redecorating their small living space. But when it came time to publish the magazine in Russia, according to RUSA LGBT, IKEA removed the photo rather than stand with Russia’s LGBT community.
Activists from the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, and RUSA LGBT will travel to IKEA’s U.S. Corporate Office Headquarters, outside of Philadelphia, to protest IKEA’s decision to erase LGBT content from its Russian publications, and to deliver 40,000 signatures from their petition to IKEA executives.
“We’re bringing the voices of 40,000 signers, and countless people around the globe who want corporate giants like IKEA to stand up against Russia’s brutal assault on LGBT people,” said Poltavtsev. “For IKEA to erase LGBT people from their Russian publications only caters to the extreme brand of hatred and discrimination being promoted by Russian lawmakers.”
“IKEA has historically been a strong ally to the LGBT community. But they’ve really failed their LGBT customers here, and particularly LGBT people in Russia. Based on IKEA’s history, they should have known better, and need to issue a clear statement of support for LGBT Russians,” Poltavtsev added.
IKEA is one of several companies being urged by LGBT rights advocates to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws. Pressure has also been placed on Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, and several other companies sponsoring the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Article adapted by Proud Parenting from original press release