As the situation for LGBT people in Russia seems to worsen on a daily basis — from the ongoing draconian anti-gay laws to last week’s bomb threats at the St. Petersburg Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival and attacks at Moscow gay clubs — three U.S.-based organizations have today launched a dedicated fundraising platform to gather much-needed donations to support the work of Russian LGBT activists.
The new Russia Freedom Fund website is a joint project of the Council for Global Equality, the Arcus Foundation and the Open Society Institute. 100 percent of contributions will be funneled directly to local Russian groups through a granting process coordinated by the three organizations in collaboration with ILGA-Europe and other LGBT activists in Russia.
“LGBT activists and organizations in Russia welcome this show of support of the community from our allies,” said Russia activist Anastasia Smirnova in a prepared statement. “Our resources are extremely limited, and our work is time-critical. We are optimistic that the Fund will help us advance the position of human rights for all people in Russia.”
The initiative responds to growing concerns about state-sponsored discrimination in Russia and demonstrates solidarity between the international LGBT community, its global allies and the Russian LGBT movement. Incorporating an easy-to-use PayPal-based donation system, the Russia Freedom Fund website is requesting contributions of any amount from the LGBT community and allies. Click through here to participate.