Major Olympic Sponsor AT&T Condemns Russia's Laws

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 04 2014 3:07 PM ET

AT&T became the first major U.S. corporation to condemn Russia's so-called gay propaganda ban that imposes fines and could imprison anyone who perpetuates positive messages about LGBT people.

The telecommunications giant, which has been a sponsor of Team USA for 30 years, echoed the Human Rights Campaign's call to the International Olympic Committee to take a stand against Russia's antigay law in a statement Tuesday.

"The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality," AT&T said. The company reiterated that it is a sponsor of the team from the United States, and not the IOC, whose corporate partners were recently urged by the HRC to condemn the law.

IOC sponsors include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, McDonalds, Samsung, Visa, Panasonic, Atos, and Omega.

"AT&T has a long and proud history of support for the LGBT community in the United States and everywhere around the world where we do business," the company said. "We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere. Russia’s law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it’s harmful to a diverse society."