Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Will St Petersburg torpedo its tourist trade? (Petition)

Yet another call to action. This bill wouldn't just force everyone back into the closet, it would deadlock the closet and throw the key into a supernova.

Dear Jay, 
We just heard the news: in less than a week Russian lawmakers are expected to pass a law that will silence millions by making it a crime to read, write or even discuss anything “gay." Even worse, if this law passes in "liberal" St. Petersburg, the ruling party's next step is to push this law nationwide.
The Governor of St. Petersburg is our last chance to stop this bill: he has the power to veto it. So with your help, we're going to hit him where it counts : in the City's wallet. 
Saint Petersburg is one of Russia's number one tourist destinations. That's why an international storm of bad publicity will force the Governor to think twice about the cost of signing this bill.
We have less than a week to act: add your name to this urgent call. Next week All Out members around the world are organizing flashmobs in front of Russian embassies and consulates - from New York to Buenos Aires, Paris to Delhi - where they will deliver your signature straight to the government's doorstep:
Conservatives in St. Petersburg intent on passing this "gay gag rule" believe they can casually dismiss calls from world leaders - and even the country's own international treaty obligations respecting freedom of expression. But at the same time, Russian leaders recently announced that they want to invest $11 billion dollars to build their international reputation and attract tourists from around the world. St. Petersburg, Russia's cosmopolitan "window to the west" is key to that strategy. But they can't have it both ways - a thriving tourist economy can’t coexist with a new law that will muzzle artists, writers, musicians and regular citizens who live in - or visit - the city. 
Imagine for a moment the new St. Petersburg - where newly empowered "thought police" can fine you for any mention of the well known fact that famed Russian composer Tchaikovksy, a St. Petersburg native, was gay. This law will censor millions of Russians, gay and straight - and silence any and all human rights organizations in Russia fighting for equal rights.
Will you take one minute to urge Governor Georgy Poltavchenko to veto the bill that is going to stain St. Petersburg's international reputation - an issue close to his heart?  
www.allout.org/stpetersburg-dont-go
Over the past few months over 270,000 people have joined All Out in denouncing the bill, and thousands of us have picked up the phone to call our foreign offices, pushing the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and others to issue official condemnations. We have to keep up the pressure - now, more than ever.
We have less than a week before the final vote. Add your name to this call now: if the Governor feels that the world is looking, and that the good reputation of the city is at stake - he'll have to think twice before signing this odious bill into law:
www.allout.org/stpetersburg-dont-go
Thanks for going All Out.
Best,
Alberto, Andre, Erika, Flavia, Guillaume, Jasmin, Jeremy, Joseph, Oli, Tile, Wesley
SOURCES:

St. Petersburg: The Tourist Capital
www.themoscowtimes.com/beyond_moscow/stpetersburg.html

“Russia will spend over $11 billion on programs aimed at promoting tourism to Russia through 2018.”
www.themoscownews.com/russia/20110915/189047809.html

Russia: “Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill” Passes Second Reading
www.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/02/10/russia-anti-gay-propaganda-bill-passes-second-reading

Mothers petition St. Petersburg to drop anti-gay legislation
www.rt.com/news/prime-time/mothers-petition-gay-community

All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender and all that’s between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.
Our mailing address is:
Purpose Foundation
224 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
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