More than 300,000 people around the world have signed a petition calling on the International Olympic Committee to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws.
“If we get the petition to 300,000 signatures, we’ll deliver every name to the IOC’s head office in Switzerland in a way they can't ignore,” the petition on allout.org reads.
More than 200 New York bar owners also joined the campaign against the Russian laws, dumping bottles of Russian vodka in protest.
Nine elected officials from New York also sent a letter to American President Barack Obama, urging him to refuse to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Given that President Putin and Russia have enacted laws to criminalize gay people and supporters and deny human rights to their LGBT citizens, they should not be the beneficiary of any trip by your office until they fully restore all civil rights to LGBT people in their country,” it reads in part.
Obama himself told Jay Leno Aug 6 that he has “no patience” for anti-gay laws like Russia’s.
“I think Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work, and I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently,” he said.
Gay writer and actor Stephen Fry called for an outright cancellation of the Sochi Olympics in an open letter Aug 7.
“An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential,” he writes. “Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillehammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilized world.”