International protest against St Petersburg’s new law banning the promotion of “sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism” have continued with a video highlighting the law’s effect.
The would punish the promotion of homosexuality with a fine of 5,000 roubles, £107 or up to 50,000 roubles, £1,070 for holders of public posts. The fines are increased tenfold again for legal entities.
Set to the finale of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the video shows a young woman with a notebook demonstrating how the law would affect the city’s community and visitors.
The pages say: “Did you know that St Petersburg, Russia just voted on a bill that will make it a crime to read, write, speak, meet or discuss anything ‘gay’. The goal? ‘Gay’ = invisible.”
It continues: “The Governor of St. Petersburg wants his city to be Russia’s #1 tourist destination? If they pass this law, we won’t go there, our friends won’t go there, and our colleagues won’t go there. Millions won’t go.
“Governor, think twice. And enjoy this song, written by the famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. A musical virtuoso who was also gay. Oops.”
AllOut.org has been urging people to sign a petition to Governor Poltavchenko pledging not to travel to St Petersburg. So far, 78,000 people have signed.
Polina Savchenko, director of Coming Out, an LGBT organization based in St. Petersburg said: “This radical law undermines the great legacy of our city’s past and future.
“If it passes, it would be illegal to mention that famed Russian composer of the 1812 Overture, St. Petersburg native Tchaikovksy, was gay.
“This law installs a culture of censorship in what was once Russia’s most cosmopolitan city and is a huge blow to the freedom of expression in Russia. At a time when people all over the world are opening up and coming out, this law puts Russia back in the closet.”