What is happening to our community in Russia is disturbing.
For the first time in our history, Immigration Equality is receiving more calls for help from Russians than from any other nation. This news is no surprise to our legal team. For several years, they have been closely monitoring the gradual deterioration of civil rights for LGBT Russians. In the beginning of 2012, local Russian governments began to pass a series of “anti-propaganda” laws, making it illegal even to openly identify as LGBT. As the climate became increasingly homophobic and transphobic, we saw a direct increase in the need for our life-saving services. By mid-2013, the Russian central government had banned “gay propaganda” across the country and began to crack down on LGBT families. That same year, our numbers doubled.
Since 2011, Immigration Equality has heard from over 400 LGBT Russians – people needing expert legal advice, desperately seeking help. As the situation worsens, we are determined to increase our capacity to offer a lifeline to those in desperate need.
Last night, President Obama declared in his State of the Union address that America protects human rights and condemns the persecution of women, religious minorities, and the LGBT community. In his words, “[w]e do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.”
Help us make our community safer. For LGBT Russians, asylum in the United States is an absolute necessity. Your contribution ensures that Immigration Equality will always be here to offer advice, representation, and hope.
Executive Director, Immigration Equality