(San Francisco, CA, May 16, 2014)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds the California Public Employees’ Retirement System—known as CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the nation—for divesting from Russian companies that are directly supporting the torture and abuse of LGBTQ youth in Russia.

In March, NCLR and Equality California (EQCA) launched an online petition calling on CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in the nation, to divest from mail.ru and MegaFon, which are tied to a Russian internet company that has allowed a Russian vigilante group, Occupy Pedophilia, to post videos of LGBTQ teenagers being kidnapped, tortured, and beaten, encouraging copycat attacks on LGBTQ youth, and putting youth in further danger by outing them to their families and anti-LGBTQ gangs in Russian.

“We are thrilled that CalPERS responded to our requests to pull funding from these heinous companies,” said NCLR Senior Legislative and Policy Strategist Geoff Kors. “California taxpayers should never be supporting this kind of hate and this move by CalPERS sends a very powerful message that we hope other investors and corporations doing business in Russia will follow.”