After a Change.org petition asking IKEA to support LGBT people in Russia received over 45,000 signatures, the company responded by updating the online version of the magazine in twenty-five countries—including Russia—with an LGBT-inclusive message.
IKEA had drawn criticism from all over the world when it removed a story about a lesbian couple from the Russian version of the Ikea Family Live magazine’s December issue, a decision that was uncharacteristic of the normally LGBT-friendly company. The petition implores, “Be a friend, IKEA. Do not go along with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay assault.
“It’s time to support LGBT people in Russia, not erase them.”
On January 15, representatives from IKEA responded. The note reads in part,
In the latest issue of our customer magazine IKEA FAMILY LIVE we ran a feature about two women, Kirsty and Clara, living in England with their child. The article appeared in 24 countries but not in Russia where a law prevents us from publishing it. It is a law that has been widely criticized but one that we have to comply with. However, we wanted to take the opportunity to speak about what the IKEA values mean and what we stand for. This is why the current online version of the magazine in 25 countries, including Russia, contains this letter from IKEA Group:
At IKEA, we believe in people.
We are guided by our vision – to help create a better everyday life for the many people. We also believe you can be yourself as an IKEA co-worker, an IKEA customer or in your home. We do our best to stand for equal opportunities and support the human rights of all people. And every co-worker can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their ethnicity, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation or age.
This guides us and inspires us when we work together with our colleagues and the people in our value chain. After all, it’s our differences that make us great!
Petra Hesser, Human Resources, & Steve Howard, Sustainability, IKEA Group