A petition with 250,000 signatures was
today presented to the High Representative of the European Union,
Catherine Ashton, and Members of the European Parliament - urging
them to support the human rights of gay people in
The petition, hosted by AllOut.Org, garnered 246,245 signatures
from around the world.
Upon receiving it today in Strasbourg, Ulrike Lunacek and
Michael Cashman MEPs said that "it was extremely important to
receive this petition together with Baroness Ashton."
The Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg is currently
examining a bill to outlaw any public mention of homosexuality or
transgender issues. The draft law also compares homosexuality to
Similar laws are already in place in two Russian regions, and
lawmakers in Moscow and at the federal level are also said to
consider restricting freedom of expression.
Michael Cashman declared: "We warmly welcome Catherine
Ashton's assurance that she will raise this issue directly
with the Russian Prime Minister. The issue of equal rights for
LGBT people and freedom of expression is very dear to all
Europeans-and Russians are Europeans too."
Andre Banks, co-founder of AllOut.org added: "This is a great
victory: because hundreds of thousands around the world joined
AllOut.org to raise their voice, Russian activists have been heard
at the highest level of the international community. But we need to
continue the fight, and stay mobilized with our friends in Russia
until this homophobic bill is repealed."