Iceland to cut ties with Russia over ‘gay propaganda’ law

Reykjavik mayor says he does not want to share political and cultural ties with Moscow, a capital that disregards the rights of LGBT people

Iceland to cut ties with Russia over ‘gay propaganda’ law
15 July 2013

Iceland is to cut ties with Russia after President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law banning ‘gay propaganda’.

Jón Gnarr, the mayor of the capital Reykjavik, says he wishes to formally revise or break off the capital’s political and cultural relations with Moscow.

While the European Union has spoken out against the law, cutting the ties could be the first real international consequence of Russia being able to fine and arrest any gay protest.

According to the contract between Reykjavik and Moscow drawn up in 2007, the cities were going to cooperate on family issues.

But now, a statement from the city council reads: ‘In light of the developments concerning the affairs of gay, bisexual and transsexual people that have taken place in Russia over the last few months, the district attorney, Human Rights Office, Office of the Mayor of Reykjavík, and City of Reykjavík chief administrative officer propose amendments or the termination of the collaboration agreement between Reykjavík and Moscow, in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.’

Last month, Gnarr sent a message to his colleague in Moscow urging him to encourage the authorities to not ban Pride.

A straight ally to the LGBT community in Iceland, he has supported the National Queer Organization in their protests against the anti-gay laws in Russia.

In 2010, he also caused shockwaves throughout the country when he turned up to march at Gay Pride in Reykjavik dressed in full drag and waving a rainbow flag.

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