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State Dept. Denounces Russian Antigay Bill

State Dept. Denounces Russian Antigay Bill

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U.S. State Department officials today expressed opposition to a proposed law in St. Petersburg, Russia, that would prohibit public speech or events concerning LGBT issues.

We are concerned by proposed local legislation in Russia that would severely restrict freedoms of expression and assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and indeed all Russians," reads a statement issued by the department in response to a question raised at yesterday's White House press briefing. It makes reference to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent speech before the United Nations, saying, "As Secretary Clinton has said, gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

The city legislature of St. Petersburg, the second-largest city in Russia, this week gave the second of three required approvals to a measure that would "public activities promoting homosexuality," including LGBT pride events, and impose a fine on violators. It is likely to come up for a third vote next week, and supporters of the bill are threatening to push for similar legislation nationwide.

"We have called on Russian officials to safeguard these freedoms, and to foster an environment which promotes respect for the rights of all citizens," the State Department response continues. "We have also consulted with our EU partners on this issue. They share our concerns and are also engaging Russian officials on this. The United States places great importance on combating discrimination against the LGBT community and all minority groups."

The State Department has spoken out against the proposed legislation previously, but Russian officials objected to what they called "attempts to interfere in the legislative process in Russia."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.