MADISON, WISCONSIN – In response to a growing wave of violence and persecution of sexual minorities in Chechnya, LGBTQ community members in Dane County have scheduled a fundraiser for Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian human rights project.

Organizers are collecting donations and recruiting sponsors for the event to be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 13, at the Mendota Lake House, 704 East Gorham Street, in Madison.  The event will be hosted by OutReach, south-central Wisconsin’s LGBTQ social service organization.

“It’s clear we need to step up and help stop state-sanctioned violence against LGBT persons, and part of that means providing resources to protect them,” said Gary Tipler, a Madison organizer of the event.

Rainbow Railroad is a mainly volunteer, charitable organization focused on assisting sexual minority refugees,  registered with the Canadian government, and based in Toronto.  More information is available on the Internet at

Contributions to Rainbow Railroad from this effort will be directed through OutReach to American Friends of Rainbow Railroad, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States.  Rainbow Railroad is a charitable organization registered with the Canadian government.

“News of state-sanctioned torture, internment camps, and killings in Chechnya for gay men is beyond distburbing,” said event organizer Kyle Richmond.  “We are asking anyone concerned about human rights, particularly LGBT people, to step forward to help.”

More information about the Madison event and how to assist the project will be available soon.