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Lush launches equal love campaign in run up to Winter Olympics

Lush launches equal love campaign in run up to Winter Olympics

Global cosmetics chain Lush is launching a new campaign for equal love tomorrow (27 January) in the run up to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The campaign, which protests Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, will be run in the lead up to Valentine’s Day (14 February) in more than 700 Lush branches in over 40 countries.

Window displays will contain signs saying ‘We believe in Love’ and staff will encourage customers to paint pink triangles on themselves symbolising their support for love regardless of sexuality, reports the Independent on Sunday.

However, the company’s 63 Russian shops won’t be taking part, as this would be a violation of the ban on promoting ‘non-traditional sexual relations’.

Lush is also organising an LGBTQ carnival that will be held outside the Russian embassy in London on Valentine’s Day.

Tasmin Omond, head of Lush campaigns, said: ‘Valentine’s Day is the perfect to time to stand up [for] everyone’s right for love. No country, company, or individual can stop love; all they can do is punish people for that love.’

‘To do so – to forbid or criminalise love – is unnatural and cruel, so I am proud that we are standing in solidarity with LGBTQ people and campaigning for equal love.’

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell supports Lush’s ‘proactive stand’, telling the Independent on Sunday it contrasts ‘with the silence and inaction of Winter Olympics sponsors like Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Visa.’

He said: ‘They have shown great cowardice by refusing to make any public statement criticising Russia’s anti-gay laws and the escalating levels of homophobic violence in Russia.’

LGB charity Stonewall also welcomed the campaign but said ‘solidarity and support’ for gay Russians needs to be maintained post-Olympics.

Lush, which was founded in south England in 1995, often develops campaigns to promote human and animal rights issues and to fight social injustice. The campaign against animal testing in 2012 included a performance artist at the Regent Street branch being subjected to similar tests animals would experience in labs.