Washington, DC – Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement in response to Russian incursion into Ukraine:
“The Ukrainian LGBTQ community has struggled to gain acceptance and political inclusion for generations. With recent shifts in public opinion, however, there have been clear glimmers of hope. The Russian government, on the other hand, continues to promote bigoted, anti-LGBTQ policies designed to extinguish LGBTQ people from politics and society.
With recent reports that Russia has already prepared a ‘kill list’ targeting Ukrainian opposition leaders, we are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of the most outspoken LGBTQ political leaders and activists in Ukraine. We fear they will face the worst consequences for their bravery and open political participation, much as their Russian counterparts have.
We call on the United States and our allies to ensure the unique vulnerabilities of Ukrainian LGBTQ leaders and civil society are part of all diplomatic talks and negotiations. Their safety must be paramount. The future of Ukrainian democracy depends on it.”
LGBTQ Victory Institute’s Global Program works to increase the political participation of LGBTQ people to advance equality across the world. This work includes training LGBTQ leaders and aspiring candidates, implementing voter education and civic engagement initiatives, and conducting research on the climate of LGBTQ political participation. With programs across the globe, Victory Institute has worked in Eastern Europe since 2014 – primarily in the Balkans.
About Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.