Los Angeles urged to cut ties with Russian sister city over LGBT issues


The ACLU of Southern California and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center are urging Los Angeles city leaders to sever sister city ties with St. Petersburg, Russia, following the passage there of increasingly repressive laws directed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The organizations made the request Tuesday to Los Angeles city council members, asking them to re-evaluate relationships with other cities on L.A.’s list of sister cities, especially Lusaka, Zambia. 

“Los Angeles and St. Petersburg just aren’t in the same club,” said James Gilliam, director of the ACLU/SC’s LGBT Project. “Truly global cities like L.A. celebrate their diversity and protect the rights of all residents. By passing its so-called anti-propaganda law, St. Petersburg has shown that it’s not the same sort of place, and has sent a chilling message to LGBT youth both in Russia and abroad: hide yourself, don’t speak up. Now it’s time for the mayor and the city council to show St. Petersburg and the world that our city has nothing in common with that sort of intolerance.”

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