Yesterday the activist group All Out delivered 320,000 petition signatures to IOC headquarters in Switzerland. The petition demands that Russia repeal its national anti-gay bill before the start of the Sochi Olympics and calls on the IOC to issue a condemnation of the law.
“Ironically, the global outcry is transforming Sochi into an amazing platform for Russians and athletes to defy the law and speak out on gay rights,” said All Out co-founder and executive director Andre Banks. About 50 Swiss members of All Out joined leaders of the organization to present the petition, said All Out spokesman Guillaume Bonnet. The IOC said last week that it had “received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.” But in a meeting Wednesday with All Out representatives, senior IOC staff said they would pursue a stronger, written commitment from the Russian government on the issue, Bonnet told CNN.
An IOC spokesperson said that senior IOC officials met with All Out, accepted the petitions, and engaged in an “open and constructive discussion.”