Lawmakers in Russia just passed a draconian censorship law that would impose stiff fines for anything construed as “the promotion of homosexuality” in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city.

Reading, writing, speaking or reporting on anything related to gay, lesbian bi or trans (LGBT) people would become a criminal act. This ban on “promotion” would also target Pride parades, literature, theater, or NGOs that openly serve LGBT people.

All Out, a community of almost a million people around the world fighting for full equality, made a little video to send the Governor a message. Pass this law – We Won’t Go There.

The goal? To make LGBT people disappear.

But the fight is far from over. The bill won’t become law until it’s signed by the Governor. St. Petersburg is one of Russia’s number one tourist destinations. That’s why an international storm of bad publicity will force the Governor to think twice about the cost of signing this bill.

Conservatives in St. Petersburg passed this “gay gag rule” despite condemnation from world leaders – and even the country’s own international treaty obligations respecting freedom of expression. But at the same time, Russian leaders recently announced that they want to invest $11 billion dollars to build their international reputation and attract tourists from around the world. St. Petersburg, Russia’s cosmopolitan “window to the west” is key to that strategy.

But they can’t have it both ways – a thriving tourist economy can’t coexist with a new law that will muzzle artists, writers, musicians and regular citizens who live in – or visit – the city.

Categories: News

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