AT&T Joins the Protest Against Russia’s Anti-Gay Law

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Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) and other Sochi Olympic sponsors have yet to stand up to Russia for the country’s anti-gay law that bans any homosexual “propaganda,” but AT&T (NYSE:T) has no problem doing it. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the U.S. wireless carrier said in a blog post on Tuesday that the company supports the Human Rights Campaign’s request to International Olympic Committee sponsors to protest Russia’s current ban.

AT&T is not a sponsor of the games, but the Dallas-based company wrote this week: “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 Olympics games will do the same.”

Although AT&T’s support is a major victory for gay rights activists and Olympic athletes, the company is not a sponsor of the games, like Coke, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), which have continued to stand their ground in refusing to withdraw sponsorships to the games.

According to Bloomberg, Coke, Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Panasonic (PCRFY.PK) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) are all expected to continue their sponsorship of the Olympics regardless of Russia’s ban. Their justification is that they’ve already raised the issue with the IOC and don’t expect athletes and spectators to be deterred from competition because of their sexual orientation.

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