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Russia Freedom Fund Launches to Support LGBT Activists

Russia Freedom FundAs 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.

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  • Greg Garavani

    I was wondering when something like this was going to pop up, could someone please fill me in if some countries are no longer providing asylum?

  • Jenni Olson

    Hi Greg — Yes, there are some countries providing asylum. For anyone wanting to be helpful to the activists in Russia, donating to this fund is a great way to show support. By the way, more horrible news out of St. Petersburg, there have now been four bomb threats at the LGBT film festival:

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