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Russia's Awful Anti-Gay Policies Could Kill Its Cities

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The Atlantic Cities
|
August 19, 2013
Issues: 

It may not be anything more than a symbolic gesture, but it's all  the city of Lansing, Michigan, can do right now.

The city council voted unanimously last night to sever its "sister" relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia, over that city’s anti-gay policies, which effectively prohibits any expression of gay identity or support for equal rights for gay people.

"I think all of us that sit at this dais believe that this is extremely important," Lansing City Council President Carol Wood said, according to MLive. "We want to make sure that we're supporting the LGBT community not only in our own city but in cities across the world. When we see atrocities like this, this is how we speak, through our resolutions... This is our opportunity to say that this is not right."

Late last year, the Italian city of Milan made the same move, and Los Angeles has been considering it.

Russia’s harsh anti-gay policies and the ongoing street violence against LGBT people have finally gotten the international attention they deserve. The government’s announcement that the law will be enforced during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is driving awareness and outrage, with some calling for an Olympic boycott.