Today, 16th April 2012, a Russian lawyer will appear in a St Petersburg court because he has a gay friend and said so in public. The city recently enacted an insanely stupid and retrograde piece of legislation that makes it illegal to talk about being gay – whether it’s you or somebody else – in public. International pressure is being brought to bear although, since Russia is not a democracy, this is going to have limited success in the short term.
Nevertheless, this is one way of hurting undemocratic, corrupt governments: making their unacceptable abuses of human rights known, and letting them you condemn it. Russia is not entirely cut of from the rest of the world. The more Russian citizens learn about their politicians’ self-serving behaviour destroying their country’s reputation abroad – to the extent of ruining the tourist trade – the sooner the move to real democracy can begin.
In case you wondered how the term ‘self-serving’ applies to this case, you may wish to reflect that undemocratic government always manages to fabricate a Common Enemy to unite the citizens in fear and hatred. This provides a useful distraction from the corruption and other abuses of power going on in the government itself. Undemocratic government can exist in nominally democratic countries. So: please sign and pass the word around.
|Sergey is an attorney in Russia. He’s straight – happily married for 16 years – and until last week would not have been called an “activist”. But today he will got to court, be fined and maybe even thrown in jail because he held up a banner in Saint Petersburg and told the truth:“A dear family friend is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours.”Sergey was among the first to be arrested, but thousands more could follow. Right now, Russian officials are fast tracking a plan to extend Saint Petersburg’s “gay propaganda” law to the entire country.Will you sign and share Sergey’s urgent letter to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin asking him to denounce this law before the trial TODAY? He has the power to end this, but we need to build the massive outcry tomorrow that will force him to pay attention:
Sergey, a married lawyer in Russia, was just arrested for taking a peaceful stand in support of his lesbian friend.
Urge Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to denounce the anti-gay law that made Sergey a criminal before his trial TODAY:
Supporters of the law claim that it would “protect children,” but Sergey’s arrest makes clear the real intention. This law is really about making lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people disappear in Russia’s second largest city. And not just LGBT people – the law will muzzle millions of straight people who care about their LGBT friends and family. Now that lawmakers in the Duma (the federal legislature) are debating a version of the law, this despicable law could go national – unless we fight it now.
The world, including many Russians, are starting to wake up to the idiocy of this law. From the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman, to the Presidential Human Rights Council, more figures are stepping up to tell Russia how this law is a flagrant violation of human rights. The law is being challenged in the courts, and it’s losing popularity as it reminds people of a very ugly part of history when people were silenced – or worse – for speaking their mind. The law also breaks just about every international human rights treaty obligation that the country is a party to.
That’s why Sergey is appealing to the one person whose influence over the political process in Russia could annul this unconstitutional law in Saint Petersburg, and make sure it isn’t rolled out nationwide – Prime Minister Putin.
Sign now, then share Sergey’s letter to the prime minister with everyone you can – let’s make sure he knows the whole world is watching:
Thanks for going All Out,
Alberto, Andre, Flavia, Guillaume, Jasmin, Joseph, Tile, Wesley and rest of the team at All Out
Arrests for Violation of St. Petersburg Anti-Gay Law
Arrests Under New Anti-Gay Law Continue
LGBT Russians stand up and speak out: “We will not be silenced!” (VIDEO)
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