Equality Florida has called upon all Florida cities to suspend their Sister/Friendship City relationships with Russian cities due to the passage of extreme anti gay legislation & the alarming increase in anti gay violence in Russia. They have sent letters to the mayors of Gainesville, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg & Tallahassee requesting to take action. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida stated, “One important goal of the Sister City relationship is to encourage travel & cultural exchange amongst the citizens of our cities. The anti gay laws & lawless violence now being encouraged in Russia negate this promise, not only for Florida's LGBT citizens, but also for all who believe in equality, diversity & tolerance. By continuing Sister/Friendship City relationships with Russian cities, we are turning a blind eye to the atrocities that are occurring in Russia. It is time to take action & in doing so, to let the Russian government know that their treatment of the LGBT community is unacceptable.” As we have been reporting Russia’s anti gay laws state that anyone organizing a Pride parade, any health official distributing information regarding safe sex between same gender partners, or anyone talking to a child under the age of 18 about anything LGBT-related can be subject to arrest or fine.
The cities of Gainesville, St Petersburg & Tallahassee have responded to Equality Florida’s call to action by stating that they are currently reviewing the request.
Updates to Come…:)
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