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Russia to U.S. on St. Petersburg Antigay Bill: Butt Out

Russia to U.S. on St. Petersburg Antigay Bill: Butt Out


The U.S. State Department is condemning a sweeping antigay law proposed in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. But the Russians have a message for the Americans: mind your business.

If passed, the law would ban gay pride parades and any public St. Petersburg event or discussion dealing with LGBT issues that could be observed by minors. The bill supposedly bans "gay propaganda"; the legislation's author believes gay gatherings negatively influence young people. The Moscow Times described the bill as "curiously equating [LGBT events] to promotion of pedophilia."

The legislation would impose monetary fines on individuals and companies that put on LGBT events. Similar measures have been enacted in two other Russian regions.

After the U.S. State Department scoffed at the most recent bill, which recently passed a first reading by St. Petersburg lawmakers, Russian officials fired back.

"We are perplexed by the American side's attempts to interfere in the legislative process in Russia, especially publicly. We consider these attempts inappropriate and inconsistent with the practice of interstate relations," Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, said in a statement, according to Interfax.

Read more here.

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