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Canada warns tourists visiting anti-gay Russia

Canada warns tourists visiting anti-gay Russia

The Canadian government is warning gay tourists visiting Russia after St Petersburg passed a gay hate bill.

Earlier this month, the governor of St Petersburg, Georgiy Poltavchenko, signed a bill into law which is designed to gag the local gay and transgender population.

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs is now warning gay travelers to Russia to 'avoid displaying affection in public, as homosexuals can be targets of violence.'

'Canada’s ambassador has written to the Russian government to express our deep concern and, yes, we have at his request, put a travel advisory on our website,' Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today in parliament, according to The Toronto Star.

Baird also told parliament that the law 'runs contrary to core Canadian values of freedom of speech, of human rights and the rule of law.'

The law effectively prohibits public discussion of LGBT issues and similar rules have also been introduced in the country's Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions.

Gay rights campaign group has urged holidaymakers to stay away from the city and Russia until the law is repealed.

Russia recently announced that it wants to spend $11 billion dollars in five years to attract tourists from around the world and All Out hope to hurt the popular holiday destination in the wallet.

'By validating a new regime of censorship and intolerance, Governor Poltavchenko has diminished the reputation of his city with the stroke of a pen,' said Andre Banks, executive director of

'Over 95,000 people have promised not to visit the "new" St Petersburg after this law goes into effect. Travel companies are considering revising their scheduled trips to the city.

'Together, we have sent a very clear message to St Petersburg and leaders like them around the world – there will be a high price to pay for advancing the cause of bigotry and intolerance.'

The St Petersburg proposals have attracted widespread criticism, including diplomatic pressure from the US State Department and Europe, a large-scale digital petition and a European Parliament resolution against them.