A new campaign site has been launched to allow individuals to lobby their MPs to demand action from the UK Government regarding the persecution of LGBT people in Russia.
LobbyForRussia.org was developed by gay couple Joshua Gladwin and Chris Ward, the team who co-created the successful LobbyALord site for the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill through the House of Lords.
Chris Ward said: “The UK Government has responded to the state-sponsored anti-LGBT violence with exasperating docility. We are hearing tempered language like ‘deeply concerned’ and ‘worrying’ whilst young gay men are directly targeted for torture and public humiliation. Government in Russia, both local and national, are passing laws which amount to nothing less than human rights abuses. David Cameron, Nick Clegg, William Hague and even Ed Miliband can be saying and doing a lot more than they are now. The reluctance to act against such horrific events is nauseating.”
He added: “It is impossible to have seen the coverage of that young gay man, tortured and forced to come out on camera, later driven to suicide, without being distressed and enraged. That’s what drove us to develop this site, to hopefully help make the smallest amount of difference.”
In addition to lobbying functionality, the site will document all activity and responses regarding LGBT issues in Russia from MPs. Up-to-date responses are communicated via @LobbyForRussia on Twitter.
Joshua Gladwin said: “It cannot be denied that we enjoy a great deal of hard-fought freedoms in the UK. Across Europe, LGBT people are also gaining the liberties which are rightly deserved by every citizen of every nation. However, only fifteen hundred miles away on the edge of the continent, Russia is doing its utmost to dehumanise and vilify its LGBT citizens.
“For a nation which proclaims to have so very recently thrown off the shackles of oppression and barbarism to commit such abhorrent acts against its own people is both perplexing and infuriating. Our own progress means little when there are still those who are not even afforded the basic respect of their government.”