Feb. 29, 2012. They did it. Conservative lawmakers in Saint Petersburg just passed the notorious "propaganda" law to silence any reading, writing, speech or debate on anything "gay."
The goal? To make LGBT people disappear.
But the fight is far from over. The bill won't become law until it's signed by the Governor. St. Petersburg is one of Russia's number one tourist destinations. That's why an international storm of bad publicity will force the Governor to think twice about the cost of signing this bill.
We have less than a week to act: tell the Governor of St. Petersburg that a city that muzzles artists, writers, musicians, citizens and visitors isn't a city you plan to visit.
Conservatives in St. Petersburg passed this "gay gag rule" despite condemnation from world leaders - and even the country's own international treaty obligations respecting freedom of expression. But at the same time, Russian leaders recently announced that they want to invest $11 billion dollars to build their international reputation and attract tourists from around the world. St. Petersburg, Russia's cosmopolitan "window to the west" is key to that strategy.
But they can't have it both ways - a thriving tourist economy canâ€™t coexist with a new law that will muzzle artists, writers, musicians and regular citizens who live in - or visit - the city.