U.S. State Dept. speaks out against anti-gay bill in St. Petersburg

Bill to prevent gay freedom of speech could spread throughout Russia

U.S. State Dept. speaks out against anti-gay bill in St. Petersburg
10 February 2012

The U.S. State Department on Thursday expressed its opposition to a proposed anti-gay law in St. Petersburg, Russia by reiterating part of a speech Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave to the United Nations in December: 'Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.'

State officials are against the proposed law, which has passed two of the required three readings in its Legislative Assembly, because it 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 individuals, and indeed all Russians,' the department stated. '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 United States places great importance on combating discrimination against the LGBT community and all minority groups,' it added.

The support for the bill comes despite diplomatic pressure from Europe as well.

A petition by AllOut.org. All Out, a leading LGBT digital direct action organization, has warned the bill will ‘make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian, bi or transgender.'

The bill will likely come up for a third vote next week. Similar laws are already in place in two regions of Russia.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Elton John goes on his worst rant ever about concert steward

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word...appears to be right
No thumbnail available

Greek neo-Nazis protest gay Jesus play

Premiere of Corpus Christi was cancelled after a violent protest by extremist right-wing group Golden Dawn
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Key West: Sun and sea, but no sex please, I'm British

'Come as you are' to America's southernmost point which is so liberated, clothes and hang-ups are optional
No thumbnail available

Billy Crystal: 'Gay scenes on TV are going too far'

Played one of TV's first-ever gay series regular on Soap
No thumbnail available

Meet the 'submissive bear' who had his genitals removed so he could have better sex

'Guys who are aroused by my situation are very aroused'
No thumbnail available

Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman read out gay erotic fiction

British actors got the shock of their lives when they were asked to read out some erotic literature at a preview screening of season three
No thumbnail available

Top Mormon explains reasons for church's anti-gay marriage views

'While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not'
No thumbnail available

Euro 2012 fans join activist's gay 'rainbow tour' in Ukraine

Lesbian activist finds solidarity for LGBT rights in Kharkiv, while All Out to tweet campaign message during Ukraine vesus UK match