Twin city calls for gay rights: Manchester uses links with St Petersburg to put pressure on Russia over its new anti-gay laws

 

Manchester City Council is using its “twinned” status with St Petersburg to pressure Russia  into reconsidering its new anti-gay laws.

The city, which has been linked to St Petersburg since 1962, said legislation restricting free speech and events related to homosexuality was an “infringement of fundamental human rights” and has written a letter explaining that “inclusivity and tolerance” are essential for the “enrichment of a city”.

In Russia, it is now illegal to tell children about homosexuality or stage a Gay Pride rally due to a ban on the promotion of “non-traditional values”. The move has been condemned internationally, and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic have begun a boycott on Russian products.

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said it has urged the Governor of St Petersburg “to veto this ill-conceived piece of legislation”.

Several businesses in Manchester have removed Russian goods from their shelves. An online petition has been set up calling for the links between the cities to be severed.

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