BY ANDREA HOUSTON - The world is reacting with shock and outrage to news that the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, Russia, has passed a disgusting and draconian anti-gay censorship law.
Activists are urging everyone, gay or straight, not to travel to Russia, to boycott all products from Russia and to spread the word that there are real consequences to removing human rights.
Russia wants to be an international tourist leader? The world must not let this happen.
The bill, which passed third reading Feb 29, bans and imposes fines on all gay pride events, gay organizations, and anything considered to be the "promotion" of homosexuality. Fines for "promoting homosexuality" are $16,000 for individuals and up to $160,000 for legal entities.
The bill also officially equates homosexuality and pedophilia.
Twenty-nine of 50 legislators voted for the law, with five against and one abstention.
Homosexuality was decriminalized by the late President Boris Yeltsin in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment is still widespread.
"The new legislation effectively outlaws any gay pride events."
The bill won't become law until it's signed by the governor. Since Saint Petersburg is one of Russia's main tourist destinations, it is hoped that an international storm of bad publicity will force the governor to think twice about the cost of signing this bill.