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Friends no more: 'Homosexual propaganda' law leads Venice to break ties with St. Petersburg

Published time: November 29, 2012 16:29
Edited time: November 29, 2012 20:56
Reuters / Chris Helgren

Reuters / Chris Helgren

The shadow of tainted reputation has fallen on the city of St. Petersburg as Venice joins Milan and suspends its sister city status. The Italian cities object to the Russian city’s adoption of a controversial “homosexual propaganda” law.

Italian authorities believe the law breaches the rights of the LGBT community. The Italians also say that same-sex marriages must enjoy equal rights with the heterosexual ones. Russia may be moving in the right direction they say; however St. Petersburg has chosen “its own way.”

The decision of the Venice Commune to part with St. Petersburg is now being processed at the Mayor’s office. Milan has already approved the suspension of sister city status, Venezia Today reports. 

The authorities in Turin are also preparing an application to the city’s Mayor to officially suspend cooperation with St. Petersburg. The local LGBT community suggested the initiative in Turin.

St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly adopted the law prohibiting “public action aimed at propagandizing sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism among minors" in February this year. St. Petersburg’s Governor Georgy Poltavchenko signed the law causing a massive outcry both in Russia and internationally.

The man behind the law, United Russia Deputy Vitaly Milonov spoke on the matter.

“There must be a lot of socialists in Milan city council… It’s a great shame that a city like Milan would take a decision like this,”
he said. “Of course, it’s hard for many of our European colleagues to accept our law, as many of them are members of the gay lobby,” he added.

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