Russia | Seattle

Seattle Mayor Holding 'Stop Putin' Sign Upsets Russian Consul General

(photo by dan savage)

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has raised the ire of Russian Consul General after photos surfaced of McGinn holding a "Stop Putin" sign at a protest outside the C.G.'s residence against Russia's recently instated anti-gay laws. McGinn was joined by around 250 protesters, including activist, author, and columnist Dan Savage who took one of the offending photos. 

YushmanovRussian Consul General Andrey Yushmanov criticized what he saw as the "misleading" action of the mayor, saying, "personally, to portray the president of Russia, Mr. Vladimir Putin, in such a way is absolutley unjustified."

In a letter to the Mayor, Yushmanov asked the mayor if he "could clarify the official position of the authorities of Seattle".

McGinn defended his actions in a letter to Yushmanov, saying, "I find it paramount to support Seattle's values, and to stand with human rights activists as they do the same."

As for whether McGinn's action reflect the official position of the authorities of Seattle, The Stranger reports that "McGinn's office said the Seattle City Council refused to take a position against the anti-gay laws.

"We inquired with the Council President [Sally Clark] to see if the Council would support a joint resolution expressing the City of Seattle’s official position regarding anti-LGBT laws in Russia," says mayoral spokesman Robert Cruickshank. "She declined." Speaking for Clark, council spokeswoman Dana Robinson-Slote explained that the council declined because they were not part of the protest, and they considered it "off-topic" because it did not "directly relate to city work."

In an update to their original article, The Stranger notes that the city has taken stances on issues that didn't "directly relate to city work" before, like when they voted in favour of ending the Iraq war, denounced the government of Burma, and askedfor the release of Nelson Mandela, to name just a few.  

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  1. Hey Russian Consul General Andrey Yushmanov it's called free speech here in America! So shut it! You have no say in what Americans can say or do in America!

    Posted by: Rocco | Sep 19, 2013 12:44:10 PM

  2. Yes, let's portray Putin in the way he really is - the next Adolf Hitler.

    Posted by: Michael Heynz | Sep 19, 2013 12:51:26 PM

  3. I find it unjustified to subjugate an entire group of people based on their sexual orientation, Mr. Consul General.

    Posted by: Dex | Sep 19, 2013 12:54:21 PM

  4. Kudos th Mayor McGinn!
    The weasel in the corn here is Sally Clark. 'Not related to city work' is a lame cop out. Standing on the sidelines and saying nothing when young Russian LGBT are being tortured and murdered makes you duplicitous Ms Clark.

    Portraying Putin as an enemy of equality is entirely justified. He is that enemy. We could also point out Putin's political corruption and wealth accumulation at the expense of the Russian public Mr Yushmanov.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Sep 19, 2013 1:17:33 PM

  5. @Rocco - That's right, they are so used to no one in Russia speaking out against anyone in power (due to their laws of financial penalty if you do so) that they can't fathom a world where ANYONE would dare admonish a political person (hahahahaha).

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Sep 19, 2013 1:20:13 PM

  6. Sally Clark is only an out and proud lesbian when she needs/wants the LGBT vote. Beyond that she is, how shall I say it, "GOP - ish"

    Posted by: Nigel | Sep 19, 2013 1:33:06 PM

  7. Mike is and always will be right about this. Consul Andrey is just another Putin pugalist looking for career promotion. Every leader in America, no matter how local, should be standing up front and proud with our Mayor.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Sep 19, 2013 1:38:49 PM

  8. Poor Russian pig. Being exposed for being the pig that he is. :(

    Posted by: Mmike1969 | Sep 19, 2013 2:06:20 PM

  9. Sally Clark is the prime example of when being gay means nothing politically or morally, she cares nothing for the people of Seattle.

    Posted by: Bellah | Sep 19, 2013 2:08:53 PM

  10. Generally, local authorities like the City of Seattle should only make statements when they are in unanimous agreement. A lot of authorities have rules in place requiring resolutions to be passed that way. However, it's no big deal either way, as the Russians surely know.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2013 4:18:46 PM

  11. Good for this mayor. LOVE this gesture. It means a great deal!

    Posted by: LipstickDiva | Sep 19, 2013 7:49:36 PM

  12. Psychiatrists world wide have stated that homosexuality is NOT
    a) a disease b) mental illness c) a perversion - and -they have stated that it cannot be changed, hence, it is NOT a choice. (U.K, USA, Europe, Australia, N.Z, China, (Hong Kong, too) India, to mention but a few.
    Rev Scott Lively is in Russia pushing his Pink Triangle book (lies, lies about gays in Hitler's inner circle) and is meeting with Orthodox church leaders. Lively is on trial in Massachusette's court - on charges of "Crimes Against Humanity" for his homophobic workshops in Uganda. Time to stop the madness.

    Posted by: paulakey | Oct 22, 2013 6:31:02 AM

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