Sister Cities dropping St. Petersburg, RU over horrific anti-gay law. Will LA, Quebec, Paris join?

The Italian cities of Milan and Venice have suspended their “Sister City” status with St. Petersburg, Russia over that city’s recently-passed legislation that ties gays to pedophilia and pretty much bans even mentioning the word “gay” in public.  (Someone was arrested under the law for wearing rainbow suspenders.)

Russia is now considering passing the same law nationwide.

The question now is whether cities like Los Angeles and Quebec will continue to remain Sister Cities with St. Petersburg, in view of the brave position the Italians have taken.  Also a Sister City with St. Petersburg is the State of Maryland, which just legalized gay marriages.

Sister CitiesOther prominent cities that have Sister City status with St. Petersburg include Paris, StockholmRio, and Melbourne, Australia.  (You can find a longer list of St. Petersburg’s Sister Cities at the bottom of this story, and an even longer list here.)

Please look for your city in the list below, and contact your city council, mayor, and write to your local newspapers, urging your city or state to suspend its Sister City ties with St. Petersburg, Russia over that city’s new laws criminalizing even mentioning the word “gay” in public. I’ve bolded some of the more interesting cities:

Predrag Azdejkovic
Gay Lesbian Info Center – Belgrade – Serbia
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2013 17:27:27 +0100
GayEcho Web Portal [email protected]

Dear friends,

The city councils of Milan and Venice are cancelling the sister city status with St. Petersburg in protest over the law on gay propaganda active in the city. This is a great reaction over this anti-gay trend in Russia. I have found the list of other sister cities with St. Petersburg. Maybe you could pressure your city councils to do the same?

Antwerp, Belgium
Aarhus, Denmark
Bangkok, Thailand
Barcelona, Spain
Bordeaux, France
Cape Town, South Africa
Daegu, South Korea
Dresden, Germany
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Gdansk, Poland
Graz, Austria
Göteborg, Sweden
Hamburg, Germany
Havana, Cuba
Helsinki, Finland
Kotka, Finland
Le Havre, France
Los Angeles, United States
Lyon, France
Manchester, United Kingdom
Melbourne, Australia
Mikkeli, Finland
Nice, France
Osaka, Japan
Paris, France
Prague, Czech Republic
Québec City, Canada
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rotterdam, Netherlands
State of Maryland, USA
Stockholm, Sweden
Tampere, Finland
Turku, Finland
Warsaw, Poland
Zagreb, Croatia
Saint Petersburg, United States (Florida)
Sofia, Bulgaria

Predrag Azdejkovic
Gay Lesbian Info Center – Belgrade – Serbia

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • rg57

    That depends if they’re listening. Russia is not listening.

  • rg57

    There is no requirement for me to respect stupid laws. Russia seems quite proud of stupid laws, and that’s a sign of stupid people. Too bad for you.

  • Hands Off

    Maybe it’s time for you to respect other coutries decision and decision of people of that country. I am Russian and I support this law….and consider this article to be a propaganda for gays. Soon, straight people will become a minority in this world and apperantly this is what you people want. Dula-you wouldn’t be in this world if your parents were Men and Men or Woman and Woman. A true family can come only from a union of Man and a Woman, so deal with that and don’t butt into the laws of our country. Unlike you, we haven’t lost our morals, traditions and most of all MINDS!!! Gays in Russia are more free than in most so called “liberal” countries, but we as parents don’t want them to promote their life styles and the fact that they are gay on TV, public and so on. Millions in France called out to their government that they are against Gay Marriages and what did so called “democratic” government did…they didn’t listen to people because they already have gay lobbyists and supporters in governmet who care less about what people want and think. So, stop making Russia look like a monster because the culture that you are promoting is degrading to the human race and will create more chaos in the end. We Russian People don’t want that to happen to our country and will fight till the end!!!

  • No, we shouldn’t boycott them. With that law, Russian government is attacking the freedom of speech itself. We need to send our team to the Olympics in Sochi. And we need to start a campaign for them to speak out for freedom of speech. They should be encouraged to speak out for that valuable right before and after their wins and losses. Including mentioning that we allow everyone to speak, even those, with whom we disagree.

    I don’t know the protocols for what can be displayed on the Olympic team uniforms, but it would speak very loudly if there was either a pink triangle (or some other sign) for LGBT support or just some general reference about freedom of speech that could be incorporated into the outfits. But if that is not allowed, the team members should be encouraged to speak out. Most of the World will have to address the American outfits and/or behavior.

    The solution to an attack on speech is not silence by non-participating. It is more speech.

  • Not retaliation, or feel the need— just observation. But thanks for reminding me: Radish legs and red piroshki noses.

  • It’s amazing how people get upset with the Russian Governments laws and feel the need to make xenophobic comments in retaliation.

  • Does that mean we can boycott clown paint, burlap, feed bags and twine accessories to destroy the Russian Haute Coutre industry?

  • A friend of mine is a Russian minority and she left Russia for US. She is white but she said no one would hire her because she has a minority last name.

  • Sweetie

    We can thank Stalin and his gang of bank-robbing thugs for destroying whatever chance Russia had of becoming a decent place to live.

  • mwestport

    Russia is going straight to Hell. Black shirts, xenophobic bigots, and a church that is out of control. Tzar “Vladimir” has let it slide back into the 1870’s. It gets worse every year. I feel sorry for the people stuck there. Foreign students of any color other than white (really, really white) there can’t even leave the campus for fear of beatings. At least the USSR kept the crazies somewhat reeled in.

  • sherman

    Excellent idea.

  • dula

    Russia is now considering passing the same law nationwide.

    Maybe it’s time to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

  • Carl Gorney

    As per Wikipedia…NO.

  • Naja pallida

    Is Minneapolis, Minnesota still a sister city to Kampala, Uganda?

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