IKEA Responds to RUSA LGBT Campaign

NEW YORK, NY - RUSA LGBT -- an association of Russian-speaking LGBTQ Americans -- is pleased to announce a positive response to its campaign to pressure IKEA, the international furniture and design store, to speak up against Russia's new "anti-homosexual propaganda" bill.

Following the delivery of an online petition with over 45,000 signatures (petition can be found here: http://www.change.org/ikearussia) to IKEA's headquarters in Conshohocken, PA, IKEA Policy & Compliance Manager Greg Priest posted a public response reading, in part:

"In the latest issue of our customer magazine IKEA FAMILY LIVE we ran a feature about two women, Kirsty and Clara, living in England with their child. The article appeared in 24 countries but not in Russia where a law prevents us from publishing it. It is a law that has been widely criticized but one that we have to comply with. However, we wanted to take the opportunity to speak about what the IKEA values mean and what we stand for. This is why the current online version of the magazine in 25 countries, including Russia, contains this letter from IKEA Group:

At IKEA, we believe in people. We are guided by our vision – to help create a better everyday life for the many people. We also believe you can be yourself as an IKEA co-worker, an IKEA customer or in your home. We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support the human rights of all people. And every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age."

Co-President of RUSA LGBT Yelena Goltsman responded by saying, "We're glad that IKEA has included this letter in their online magazine -- and we're especially glad that this statement will be placed online in Russia. Though we would have rather Kirsty and Clara's beautiful photograph been included from the very beginning, we are glad that IKEA has repudiated Russia's harmful anti-LGBT laws, and we look forward to more companies doing the same."

RUSA LGBT is a Russian-Speaking American LGBTQ association that helps connect those who identify with Russian-speaking and LGBTQ cultures. RUSA LGBT has welcomed many LGBT asylum seekers from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus who fled the abuse and mistreatment in their homelands. RUSA LGBT regularly organizes cultural and social events to unite Russian-speaking LGBTQ community in America and to increase acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ people within the Russian-speaking public. RUSA LGBT fights for social justice, human and civil rights for LGBTQ people in America and in the Former Soviet Union. You can find more about RUSA LGBT at www.rusalgbt.com.

Spectrum Human Rights Alliance unites multiple LGBT communities across Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and former Soviet Union. Our organization strives to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and ultimately achieve fundamental fairness and equality for all. Spectrum Human Rights Alliance seeks to protect LGBT community in their respective countries by developing region specific educational programs, PR and communication campaigns, grassroots organizations and movements. Our goal is to promote equal rights for all people through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. For more on Spectrum, go to www.spectrumhr.org.

GetEQUAL is a national grassroots social justice organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information, go to www.getequal.org. You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/getequal.



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