Despite months of protests, St. Petersburg Governor Georgiy
Poltavchenko yesterday signed a law that will criminalise reading,
writing, speaking or reporting on anything gay-related.
He approved the legislation, despite global criticisms from
lesbian and gay organisation AllOut.org and their Russian
supporters: ComingOut, SidebySide and the Russian LGBT
The law, which has been described by critics as draconian, would
impose stiff fines for anything construed as "the promotion of
homosexuality" in Russia's second largest city.
The ban would also target Pride parades, literature, theater, or
non-governmental organisations that openly serve LGBT people.
Today, Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director for
"By validating a new regime of censorship and intolerance,
Governor Poltavchenko has diminished the reputation of his city
with the stroke of a pen. 100,000 people have promised not to visit
the "new" St. Petersburg after this law goes into
"Travel companies are considering revising their scheduled trips
to the city. St. Petersburg's sister cities have even begun
to put pressure on the Governor to reject this law. Together, we
have sent a very clear message to Poltavchenko and leaders around
the world: there will be a high price to pay for advancing the
cause of bigotry and intolerance.
"AllOut.org continues to stand with our partners in Russia and
will work through diplomatic channels, creative online campaigns
and offline events to ensure that this law is repealed and that
others like it never see the light of day."
Earlier this month, AllOut.org produced a viral video that had
over 300,000+ views on YouTube that expressed a simple message
urging Governor Poltavchenko to veto the law: "Pass the law, and we
won't go there."
Photo from Wikipedia.