POSTED: December 3rd 2013

American Apparel to release Principle 6 campaign to protest Russia's anti-gay laws

American tennis star James Blake wears the Principle 6 t-shirt / Principle 6
American tennis star James Blake wears the Principle 6 t-shirt / Principle 6


American Apparel will partner with United States gay rights activists to create a clothing line to protest the Russian laws on homosexuality at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The clothing line will fall under the “Principle 6” campaign, named after the Olympic Charter’s decree of discrimination based on race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is “incompatible” with the Olympic movement.

The hope is the wearing of the American Apparel clothing will allow for an avenue of protest not out of line with the law enforcement authorities in Sochi. The activists also hope it will not violate the Olympic ban on political speech.

“This campaign is not about politics, it’s about principles,” Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor said.

“The Principle 6 campaign allows athletes and fans to support LGBT equality leading up to and during the Sochi Olympics without fear of arrest under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws or penalty under the Olympic ban on political speech.”

“If the International Olympic Committee refuses to enforce their own principles while host countries attack human rights and the dignity of athletes, the Olympic Charter is meaningless,” All Out Co-Founder and Executive Director Andre Banks said. “Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter says that sport does not discriminate. Our campaign is a way for Olympians and millions of fans to drive that message home to the IOC.”

The controversial legislation – which is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences and does not prevent adults from making their own choices, according to proponents – was signed by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin in June.

The “Principle 6” clothing will be rolled out 1 Jan. 2014, with 34 Olympians and professional athletes set to serve as representatives, including Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff.

“Principle 6 is a way for everyone, everywhere to celebrate the values that inspire the Olympic Games while showing support for equality in Russia,” Brockhoff said.

National Basketball Association star Steve Nash and former top-ranked tennis player Andy Roddick are also signed on to represent American Apparel’s campaign.

“American Apparel has always stood up for the LGBT community,” American Apparel Creative Director Iris Alonzo said. “The idea of excluding anyone from the Olympic Games based on their sexual orientation is unthinkable. We are proud to join Athlete Ally and All Out to provide a way for athletes and fans to speak out against unjust discrimination.”

“By openly supporting Principle 6 at the Winter Games in Sochi, everyone can help uphold and promote the Olympic values of non-discrimination and stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Russia and around the world,” spokesperson for one of Russia’s LGBT groups Anastasia Smirnova said.

Keywords · American Apparel · Russia · Russian Federation · LGBT · United States · Andy Roddick · Steve Nash · Olympics · Olympic Games · Winter Games · Sochi · Sochi 2014 · International Olympic Committee · IOC ·

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