Petition filed to MUO to pull 2013 Miss Universe Pageant out of Russia

Petition filed to the Miss Universe Organization to pull 2013 event out of Russia

A petition, which has started to go viral, has been filed on to the Miss Universe Organization, asking them to pull this year’s event out of Russia due to the latest of a series of attacks to LGBT people as reported by the media. The 2013 pageant is expected to take place in Moscow this coming November. Said petition -submitted by US resident Francesco Pascuzzi - states the following:


Paula M. Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization

Jackie Shahinian, Public Relations Coordinator of the Miss Universe Organization

As a lifelong pageant fan, I’m shocked and disappointed that the Miss Universe Organization has chosen to host its competition this year in Russia, where LGBTQ people are under attack. Over the last few months, aggressive and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted in Russia. On July 3rd, 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law preventing the adoption of Russian-born children to gay couples, and to couples and/or individuals living in any country where marriage equality exists in any shape or form. This shameful piece of legislation came on the heels of other laws, also signed by president Putin earlier in 2013, which allow Russian police to arrest and detain Russian citizens and foreign tourists suspected of being homosexuals or of pushing a pro-LGBTQ agenda.

Another recently enacted law labeling “homosexual propaganda” as pornography puts anyone making pro-gay statements to underage individuals at risk of being fined and/or arrested. Pictures of a recent Gay Pride event in St. Petersburg which ended in bloody beatings and arrests have now surfaced on the Internet, as well. Being gay in Russia is today equal to being a criminal. Russia is no longer a safe destination and host country. When the Miss Universe Organization allowed transgender beauty Jenna Talackova to enter the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2012, reversing its previous policies on the matter, it sent a strong and unequivocal message in favor of equality and of the LGBTQ community.

Choosing Russia as a host country undermines this progress. Many Miss Universe fans, myself included, identify as LGBTQ — and surely many employees of the organization are, as well. How are any of these people, who might want or will have to attend the event, supposed to travel to Russia under these new laws and feel safe, when they could (and likely will) be beaten, arrested and/or detained on the spot for being who they are? Clearly, there is more at stake here than the organization’s reputation.

With this message, we are asking the Miss Universe Organization to send a strong message in favor of equality and human rights by pulling out from hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.



The Miss Universe Organization showed strong support to the LGBTQ community by accepting, last year, the participation of transgenders in the pageant. In 2012, a big controversy, perhaps the biggest in the history of the competition, involved the participation of Jenna Talackova in Canada.

The petition, at the moment, has reached over 5,600 signatures. Other celebrities have voiced their opinions about the matter and with a petition to ban the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (Russia).

And you, what is your opinion? Should the Miss Universe 2013 pageant be pulled out of Russia to show support for the community which has stood by them for many years?


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