FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, 31 July 2013

CONTACT:
Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Courage Campaign Urges LA City Council to Sever “Sister-City” Status with St. Petersburg Over Rising, Legally Sanctioned Discrimination Against LGBT People in Russia

** www.petitions.moveon.org/sign/la-city-council-sever **

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - In a new petition, the California-based Courage Campaign is urging the Los Angeles City Council to sever their “sister-city” relationship with St. Petersburg in Russia, over the rising tide of government sanctioned violence and discrimination against LGBT people in the country.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: www.petitions.moveon.org/sign/la-city-council-sever

The petition - launched by the CourageCampaign.org, on MoveOn.org’s petition platform - responds to the latest actions by Russian lawmakers passing a ban on “gay propaganda” which makes it a crime for any parent to tell their child that being gay is okay, any Pride parade organizer, any health official distributing information regarding safe sex between same-sex partners, even a judge or lawyer representing LGBT clients, subject to arrest or fine.

“The St. Petersburg Assembly led the way for the ‘gay propaganda" law,’ legalizing it in 2012. The Los Angeles City Council failed to take action then, and Russia took the law nationwide recently,” explained Adam Bink, Director of Online Programs for CourageCampaign.org in the petition.  “In 1979, Los Angeles suspended its sister city relationship with Tehran, Iran over the hostage crisis. We can and should do so now.  Angelenos need to send a clear message: we value and cherish our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents and will not tolerate discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters by a sister city, or anywhere in the world.”

The “gay propaganda” ban follows up on an earlier ban on the adoption of Russian-born children, not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists and a law that allows police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Already people are being arrested, beaten, intimidated and more. One lawmaker even vowed that LGBT foreign nationals attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics would be subject to this law.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://gawker.com/russian-official-says-gay-olympic-athletes-will-be-subj-974566901

For more information, or for interviews with CourageCampaign.org, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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CourageCampaign.org is an online organizing network that empowers more than 750,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. As a leading multi-issue advocacy organization, Courage Campaign's work is supported by thousands of small donations from our diverse community.