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Iceland: Mayor of Reykjavík wants to cut ties with Moscow over passage of anti-gay law

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  1. Good man!

    PS. I’ve made a petition to end Manchester’s twin city status with St Petersburg (but maintain links between LGBT groups).

    Please sign it if you agree :)

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/petition-manchester-city-council-end-the-twinned-city-link-between-manchester-and-st-petersburg

    1. I feel similarly to you! this is a shameful situation to have a twin city status with St Petersburg. Whilst I can’t condone this kind of discrimination of human rights by Putin, I do agree with a previous comment by a Manchester Alderman here on pink news that to abandon St Petersburg would be to abandon LGBT in St Petersburg at a time when they need to know people around the world will not abandon or forget them. This link could be a vital life line to LGBT which if severed may isolate them even more.

      A stand should be made! but maybe it will be more appropriate if the world avoided the Olympics and made an economic statement in other ways. Let’s seriously consider the damage or potential actions which could hurt or isolate those amongst us who need links and contact with the outside world more than ever before we do something rashly!

      1. I’m for severing the ties, I very much doubt that any LGBT person has benefitted from this connection and it certainly hasn’t helped open their minds when they were considering introducing and the finally pushing the law through.

        There must be more effective ways of helping them, I am not aware that the connection has put any pressure on them at all. Please do correct me if you have proof of how this connection has helped LGBT people. I suspect only the privileged will have got anything out of it.

        I think two countries severing ties would send a bigger message to them, in fact keeping the ties shows them that we do not care what they do. I would be happy to be wrong.

        1. David, Don’t read me the wrong way! I am disgusted by what is happening enough that my gut reaction would like to see Manchester severe ties as much as Iceland has indicated it will.

          Even though there is discord in the dialogue over St Petersburg and Putin, it is never the less ongoing dialogue. Severing ties may send a message… but it also limits or ends dialogue. Manchester has a huge LGBT community, a community which I am sure would have dialogue with activist in St Petersburg. I don’t have proof that this connection has been beneficial to LGBT people, but I do wonder how communication or human rights violations might be censored or communicated.

          Severing ties may not influence Putin or the general population to change unless action continues to escalate, but it does voice displeasure with their politics. How ever it’s important to not unknowingly end the support or communication lines or abandon those we don’t know who reach out or communicate with Manchester.

          1. Thank you Steve

            It is a difficult one and understand what you are saying.

            Not wanting to be rude but, people are generally like sheep and feel enabled by what a leader says. Putin needs to feel pressure and if Russia itself gets a message that the wider world will not tolerate this and will sever connections with them, it just might have an effect on him as he will become more and more isolated, talking will not effect him, action might. We are dealing with someone who arms one side of a conflict and threatens other countries to stay out of it, he is not a reasonable man.

            I am not suggesting we sever political links with them and I think they need to talk more but this is one thing that can send a message and will open dialog with them, if they dont care then that sends a valuable message to us just how far down the drain they have gone and how much more pressure needs to be put on them.

            It also shows the wider world just how bad they have become which might get them to help.

  2. Thanks for posting the link James! I have signed and I urge other readers to do the same and to spread the word on your social sites.

    This is one of the few things we can actually do to show the Russians how much we disapprove of what they are doing.

    We can’t declare war on them but we can boycott Russian goods, websites, games and services. They will not get one penny of my pink pound!

    I also believe that any town or city that is twinned with a Russian town or city in anyway should cease these links.

  3. Sacre bleu 18 Jul 2013, 4:52am

    Mr Gnarr said: “Homophobia is not a phobia. They are not scared. They are just a bunch of assholes.”

    I think you just nailed it Mr Gnarr. I salute you for your stance re Russia’s and Moscow’s egregious laws.

    1. that was said by morgan freeman!

  4. It really is a dilemma. How do you make a stand against such regimes but at the same time still support LGBT groups in this and similar countries.
    The bravest thing would be to actually attend the Games in Russia but defy the authorities en-masse by protesting in front of the watching world’s TV cameras.
    We know from history that persecution of the people always starts with the LGBT community…it’s just a question of who is next on Putin’s hit-list.

    1. I think that’s a really good idea, word needs to get out though. It would embarrass Russia whilst the rest of the civilised world watches and surely they couldn’t arrest hundreds of foreigners?

    2. Christopher in Canada 18 Jul 2013, 12:40pm

      I’m imagining each world nation marching in with a rainbow flag beside its own during opening ceremonies.

    3. I’ve been thinking it is best for LGBT people to boycott the Russian olympics but now I’m starting to think that staying away is just silent consent and helps nobody. We should flock to the games in front of the world’s media with campaigns and protests designed to highlight the issue and show up the Russian goverment for the rotten apple it is. Jord is right, how are they going to arrest hundreds or thousands of foreign people in front of the world’s media? We would be immune, we could wear whatever we want and make as much noise as we want… it’s a very small window of opportunity.

  5. I think it could be an interesting idea to invite as many youngsters as possible, give them a really good time, a few nice LGBT movies translated to Russian and all the propaganda they are denied at home. Send them home with a lot of books, Internet links and people they can contact for questions and we might have new LGBT ambassadors over there.

    1. They wouldn’t allow open minded kids to come, they would hand pick them, look at the Adoption law Putin is pushing through.

      If there was a general visit, in the grand scheme of things LGBT issues are a small part of what these kids would see if they saw them at all and if we were offering to bring them over to show them, they would not allow the kids to come. Doing it behind their backs could create a diplomatic incident.

      I strongly feel that a move like severing the link between two cities is a good way of sending them a message that opens the doors for the diplomats to talk, that is assuming they even care.

    2. Colin (London) 18 Jul 2013, 4:12pm

      I see the dilemma folks but kim i’m lovin this.

  6. GingerlyColors 18 Jul 2013, 11:25am

    At least gay people will get a warmer welcome in Iceland than in Russia.

  7. Iceland has been a very tolerant country towards LGBT people for quite a long time, this is the country which had the world’s only openly gay head of state of course, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.

    Russia on the other hand is on the midst of an oppressive, corrupt, tyranny. Given Russia’s history it’s not surprising, they’ve never known true democracy. From the murderous Tsars, to the tyranny of the Soviet Union and the thugs of the Putin administration, this is a country with a brutal history.

  8. St Petersburg and Moscow should link up with Lagos or Kampala as twin cities. They all share a common vision – looking backwards a couple of centuries!

  9. This is very encouraging news, Iceland has always been at the forefront of progressive social concious it seems. The only hope we have to save any of our LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia who are being scapegoated and persecuted in such a medievil manner is if more people like him stand up and take action.

  10. What Putin has done, by word and action, in his dealings with the LGBT situation, is, as will come out in the future, to declare sanctioned genocide on our Russian brothers and sisters.

    As bad as this is, there is a much more sinister reason for his actions. There was an article, in a science magazine, a month or so ago, that mentioned a new virus that has begun to attack wheat. India has fallen prey to this new virus, along with another country, and three guesses which other country it is. Yes, Russia. It was one of the major exporters of wheat to the other countries, and as a result of this virus, has stopped all exporting in order to have reserves to feed its own people.

    Putin knows that it won’t be too much longer til the country begins to face real famine, so, in his own arrogant and megalomanic fashion, he is diverting attention from this to LGBT rights. The man could care less about Russian LGBT rights. All he’s concerned with is retaining his power and influence.

  11. These are the types of actions that must be taken by all countries in order to get Russia’s attention and end their human rights violations.

  12. Janet Lameck 19 Jul 2013, 12:03pm

    ALL Free World contries should break off ALL relations diplomatic or otherwise with Russia until it recognzies LGBT rights.

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