LA, Chicago Urged to Dump Their Russian ‘Sister-Cities’ Over Russia’s Criminalization of Gay Rights

In response to Russia's new anti-gay propaganda law, both Los Angeles and Chicago have been urged by LGBT supporters to drop their sister cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow respectively.

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 3.51.34 PMEfforts to sever LA's ties to St. Petersburg have been ongoing for quite some time. Back in February, Los Angeles City Council introduced a resolution that would have severed the city's symbolic relationship with Russia, Frontiers LA reports:

"The passing of this resolution sends a strong message that the city will not tolerate discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters in a sister city relationship,' openly gay City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl said in introducing his resolution on Feb. 12. 'We must stand together and continue to fight for our basic civil and human rights for all human beings on this earth."

Left unsaid in City Hall that day was the possibility – albeit perhaps a remote possibility – that the severing or even suspension of ties to St. Petersburg by the City of Los Angeles would send a resounding message of support for LGBT human rights from the ninth most economically powerful city in the world that other cities could use as cover to also sever ties.

St-petersburg-russiaWhile the resolution unfortunately failed to move out of committee in April, activists hope the new media attention being brought to the issue will help reignite the campaign. Additionally, a petition asking L.A. to sever ties with St. Petersburg has gathered over 2,000 signatures.    

Meanwhile, Equality Illinois has called on Chicago to end its relationship with Moscow.

From the statement:

"As the state's oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, we believe that it cannot be business as usual in Illinois' relations with Russia until that country's oppressive laws are reversed and gays are not targeted for oppression," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

"From many small but meaningful steps, a national and then an international consensus will grow and ultimately, we believe, force Russia to change its behavior toward its gay citizens and visitors," Cherkasov said.

Previously, "Reykjavik Mayor Wants to Cut City's Ties with Moscow Over Russian Capital's Stance on Gay Rights" [tlrd]


  1. says

    Heh, this is just awesome. Gay kids are getting beaten up across the globe and all the people here pissed about it are just knocking these connections down.

    People get really invested in these kinds of things, their group doing a movement, but sometimes it’s best to take a step back and appreciate the spectacle. In what world would these actions have no effect? The mention of a boycott leads to an actual boycott, leads to people severing any connection they can find to voice our strong displeasure. It’s amazing! If it looks petty or silly you are toooo close.

  2. Boone68 says

    What is happening in Russia and other parts of the world is wrong, and many of these stories are truly tragic. However, boycotts and isolation are not the answer. Engagement and leading by example are much more powerful and those policies do not cut off our gay brother and sisters throughout the world.

  3. Gee says

    Who took the sex out of homosexuality? First, they marry it out, nows it’s political oppression 24/7. Even the Russians have said don’t boycott the Olympics. Now I see there will be a march of protest at the Russian consulate. Will it be a “kiss in” similar to the success at the chicken establishment? Is the Olympics Boycott some kind of Gold Medal to shine more light on our amazing power? Witness JCPenney. Why can’t the rest of the world be accepting of gays, like we got the Americans to?

    The ’60’s had a slogan called “BAN THE BOMB!” Very effective.