I am concerned about the anti-homosexuality laws that have been drawn up in Russia. It seems these laws make those who would perpetrate violence against homosexuals, feel somehow empowered -- and the number of incidents of violence against "others" is on the rise.
Last week, a Dutch diplomat was attacked in his house. The attackers, who had prepared for the attack rather elaborately, drew a heart on a mirror, with the letters 'LGBT' in it -- a clear reference to the signals of dissaproval of the Dutch parliament and cultural figures for the new anti-gay laws.
Your company is an important sponsor for the Olympic Games, as well as the most-recognised brand world-wide. You have the chance to speak out against these discriminatory laws, to send a signal that you will not stand for the violence.
I appreciate that business is important to you, and that you might think it is not in your best interest to create waves in Russia. I understand that.
On the other hand, Profit is not the only value that Coca-Cola stands for. Speaking out against the disciminatory laws in Russia will show the rest of the world that you are not afraid to show your Leadership, that you strive to create a better, more diverse world. Speaking out now shows that you strive to bring the _whole_ world moments of optimism and happiness, no matter what their sexual orientation is.
The laws will probably not be repealed if you speak out, but it will deprive the government of President Putin of basking in the positive glow that radiates from your brand.
Speaking out will send a powerful, positive message to everyone. Choosing to remain silent will send a powerful message too -- but much less positive.
Please be true to your values. Please be true to your positive message, and speak out against the anti-homosexuality laws in Russia.