On February 7, AT&T became the first major corporation in the US to officially condemn Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.
The telecommunications company is known for standing with Team USA at every Olympic opening ceremony since 1984; it has also received a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the last ten years in a row. When those two interests suddenly clashed, AT&T chose to support the side that needed it most.
AT&T put up a Newsroom post, titled “A Time for Pride and Equality,” that reads in part,
The Olympic Games in Sochi…allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality.
AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a long-standing sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law.
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. 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.
We celebrate the diversity of all Olympic athletes, their fans, Russian residents and all people the world over—including and, especially, our employees and their loved ones.
As the games begin, we’re here to support and inspire American athletes who’ve worked hard and sacrificed much to achieve their dreams. We also want to be on record with our support for the LGBT community, and we hope that others involved with the Olympic Games will do the same.
To show that AT&T still hasn’t lost its team spirit, the post concludes with: “Go Team USA! #ItsOurTime.”