In a joint letter to Prime Minster David Cameron, they said Team GB’s participation in the Games “would lend credibility to a European country which has introduced an extremely dangerous piece of legislation, threatening the human rights of millions of its citizens”.
Said KCC Councillor Martin Whybrow: “Last summer Kent hosted 36 Olympic and 8 Paralympic training camps and thousands of people from the county volunteered as Game Makers. These experiences mean that, as a community, Kent people understand more than most the unique inclusive spirit that makes the modern Olympic movement – a spirit which has no place for the bigotry demonstrated by the Russian government.”
Councillor Ian Driver added: “In 2011 I had the privilege of moving a motion which committed Thanet Council to the support of equal marriage. Thanks to David Cameron’s championing of this change, equal marriage is now lawful. For the government he leads to allow Team GB to compete in a country which has legalised the persecution of its LGBT citizens seems to me to be incompatible with our strong commitment as a nation to inclusivity and tolerance.”
(1) Other supporters of the boycott include celebrity Stephen Fry, Human Rights Activist Peter Tatchell, and Green Party MP Caroline LucasText of letter to David Cameron MP, the Prime Minster
Dear Prime MinsterWe are writing to you to express our deep concern about the Russian government’s recent introduction of draconian legislation which allows for the persecution of its LGBT citizens.
As the leader of a country which recently legalised equal marriage, and as one of the main supporters of the campaign for its introduction, we ask you to use your influence to persuade the Russian government to think again about this reactionary legislation.We believe one of the most effective ways to do this is for our country to join the growing international campaign to boycott the 2014 Winter Games being held at Sochi in Russia.
Team GB’s participation would lend credibility to a European country which has introduced an extremely dangerous piece of legislation, threatening the human rights of millions of its citizens. Our long national tradition of respect, tolerance and inclusivity, as evidenced by our legalisation on equal marriage, is incompatible with participation in the Sochi Games.If our country were to take a strong moral stand and join the boycott, the Russian government would quickly realise that it is on the wrong side of history.
Yours sincerelyCouncillor Martin Whybrow, The Green Party, The Members’ Room, Sessions House,
County Hall, Maidstone Kent ME14 1XQ
Councillor Ian Driver, The Green Party, c/o Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XZ