The situation in Russia is very grave and requires a response from us.
First of all, I oppose any boycott of the Olympics even in light of the decision by the Russian government to implement laws that infringe on the human, civil and equality rights of LGBT people. Such a boycott would certainly bring a negative backlash in light of the fact that athletes from our country and their sponsors/family have spent a lot of time and money to prepare to compete in the Sochi games. Ideally, there will be LGBT athletes competing their who will be “out” and show great talent by winning medals in the same way that Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
Having said this, I believe it is imperative to boycott Russian products. For example, I am pleased to learn that a number of Gay bars have already removed Russian Vodka from their shelves. If you are a regular patron of any Gay Bar (or even a Straight bar), ask the bartender if they carry Russian Vodka and ask them to stop carrying that product.
Secondly, I have recently written a letter of protest to the Russian Ambassador to Canada and urge you to do the same. Amnesty International has found that the strategy of writing letters to support prisoners of conscience and human rights is very effective over time. In my letter, I stated my opposition to the recent laws and pointed out they are incompatible with Russians aspirations to be a democratic nation because democracy is not majority rule alone, majority rule with protection for the rights of minorities. I also pointed out that this law is not only an attack on the civil and human rights of LGBT people, but also an attack on democratic rights of free speech, and on religious rights and freedom (since the antipathy to LGBT rights and community is not shared by all religions and certainly not by all Christians).
Please send copies of your letter to the Ambassador to the Hon. John Baird, our Minister of Foreign Affairs and to Paul Dewar, Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs and call on our government to make clear and unequivocal statements opposing the new laws in Russia.
Thanks and Blessings.