By Jase Peeples
Originally published on Advocate.com December 12 2013 7:08 PM ET
Uprising of Love, a new social movement dedicated to supporting the Russian Freedom Fund, which works for long-term, systemic change in the status and treatment of Russia’s LGBT community, launched this week.
This organization’s establishment was officially announced in New York Monday at a private fundraiser for the Russia Freedom Fund, and Melissa Etheridge, who is a cofounder of Uprising of Love, was on hand to help the group announce its arrival in style.
The out singer debuted her new song, “Uprising of Love,” at the event; she wrote it to not only help publicize the organization after which the track is named, but also to raise international awareness of the difficulties currently facing LGBT people in Russia.
“At this unique moment in history, when we are seeing such rapid progress in the fight for equality in the West, we cannot be blinded to appalling crimes against humanity elsewhere,” reads a statement on Uprising of Love’s website. “Today in Russia, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people are facing harassment, arrest and violence under a set of horrific new laws. For their sake, we must come together and start an uprising of love.”
In addition to Etheridge, the organization boasts a an impressive coalition of celebrities who have also pledged their support to the cause, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, James Franco, Sara Gilbert, Sean Hayes, Chris Colfer, George Takei, and Sigourney Weaver.
Watch a clip of Etheridge’s live performance of “Uprising of Love” in the video below.