Reader comments · Petition calls for Manchester to cut cultural ties with St Petersburg over anti-gay laws · PinkNews

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Petition calls for Manchester to cut cultural ties with St Petersburg over anti-gay laws

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Jul 2013, 6:19pm

    I’d like a national petition to cut off all cultural ties with Russia as a preliminary step.

  2. Another poorly researched Pink News article fails to congratulate Edinburgh for having severed ties with St. Petersburg.

    1. Beelzeebub 26 Jul 2013, 9:15pm


      The IOC are happy with this.

      The Olympic Committee is therefore a bloody travesty, happy to allow this hate as long as there stupid games take place.

      1. The IOC maybe happy with this assurance, I unfortunately don’t share their confidence. Of further insult to all Russian LGBT is the fact that “for the sake of the games exceptions will be made” but no exceptions to the law if you live there!

        I seriously hope that as a world wide protest that all member nations competing design sports outfits that boldly and proudly display the rainbow colors which is in the face of the host country in every competition… let’s see how they react to that as an exception to their law.

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    1. I’m gay student from Russia.
      Kaspersky Lab has strong support from Russian Government.

  4. It does seem highly inappropriate for a city like Manchester with such a large and prominent gay community to be twinned with St Petersburg.

    The authorities there really need to start seeing negative results to their actions.

  5. Robert in St Bees 27 Jul 2013, 9:34am

    The news coming out of Russia is very alarming, but cutting our connections won’t have much effect and might entrench some of their attitudes. I would propose a slowly increasing suspension of all twining and other links with Russia (and other homophobic countries) until they change their laws and only letting their citizens in the sports, arts, business and politics enter our country if they sign a declaration recognizing that whilst here they are covered by UK criminal law that includes human rights protection all.

    1. Christopher Coleman 27 Jul 2013, 7:57pm

      Better yet, don’t let ANY of their citizens into our country unless they are seeking asylum.

  6. I think all the proposed boycotts and cutting cultural ties are commendable but the Russian in the street will not be impacted – in fact most have little respect for the west.
    They really do think Putin is the saviour of Russia and with the Orthodox church across Russian and beyond supporting even severe measures against LGBTs. They equate homosexuality with western sexual deviance, child abuse and weakness. Russian men – in the main – think of themselves as macho to the point of caricature and Russian woman go along with that even to the extent of accepting verbal and physical abuse as the norm.
    Yes you would think that a people who has been controlled, slaughtered and terrorised for hundred of years would be more open to change but most are full of fear – as change has in the main brought upheaval and for many even worse conditions.
    My heart is breaking for those LGBTs in Russia but sad as it is I would say get out if you want to be safe and free.

  7. Surely we can influence better while the connection between our two cities remain. Being linked to a city doesn’t mean you agree with everything it does, but it does mean you’re in a position to encourage what you believe to be right or equal. We make a better stand by remaining close to the city, work at changing opinions, and encourage those who already believe in LGBT equality. We cut ties, and then what happens? We will lose a great opportunity to change and influence people.

    1. Commander Thor 28 Jul 2013, 8:03am

      Worked out great so far…

      1. Actually, it has worked out great in the past. For example, we had friendship ties with Russia during the Cold War when our ideologies were completely different. When Russia dropped communism in the 90s we were one of many who helped them turn around. We encouraged, influenced, helped…

        What’s different now? Why can’t we try and encourage them to change the law? We can’t do that if we cut ties. There are plenty of people in the government in Russia who, in private, don’t agree with what’s going on. If we cut ties, they have no support. And what about the ordinary people on the street who are suffering because of these new laws? What are we saying to them by cutting our ties of friendship.

  8. Yay, it’s my petition :)

    As I said in it, no reason why we can’t still maintain links with the LGBT groups there.

    This move is part of a whole range of activities going on across the world to deal with the homophobia there.

    This is the LEAST we can do to show that how they treat their people is unacceptable.

  9. Manchester should have been the first city to break ties with this city WITHOUT having to be coherced into it! Disgraceful that a petition had to be started.

  10. About to add a quote from Councillor Sue Murphy (couldn’t fit it all in!). You can read the whole thing, if you wish, here:

  11. “We have now created a link between LGBT groups in St Petersburg and Manchester. Maintaining the friendship agreement will help us to develop and enhance those links – which means we can provide advice, support and genuine solidarity. It also means that we can send out the clear message to LGBT people in St Petersburg that the people of Manchester stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Friendship links are not about governance or politicians – they are about people and we believe that the friendship agreement draws the people of Manchester and St Petersburg closer together. Ultimately this law will only be revoked if the people of the St Petersburg demand it. By maintaining these links we can show the people of St Petersburg that they have powerful allies in their battle for equality with the people of Manchester – where this battle has previously been fought and won.”

  12. As someone who has close links with St. Petersburg through the longstanding friendship links, I personally know just how much can be done and how much we can help to encourage and influence Russia towards getting rid of this brutal laws.

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