Civil Liberties

Olympic Sponsors Pressed over Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

What, if anything, are they going to do?


NEW YORK CITY — As discussions about Russia's anti-LGBT laws dominate coverage of the lead-up to the planned Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, only one corporate sponsor of the Olympics, General Electric, is pressing the International Olympic Committee publicly for action in support of human rights in response to inquiries from BuzzFeed.

While several companies pointed to their own support for LGBT rights — including, as — few of the Games' key sponsors were willing to engage the IOC in any specific request for more action. Several, in fact, provided BuzzFeed with identical language backing the IOC's current position that it has received assurances from the Russian government that the games will not be affected by the new law banning LGBT "propaganda" being shown to minors.

A GE spokeswoman, however, told BuzzFeed: "We expect the IOC to uphold human rights in every aspect of the Games."