Monday, 20 February 2012
An Orthodox Bishop has started an online petition urging tourists to boycott St. Petersburg, Russia until it repeals an anti-LGBT law. In February 2012, the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly passed a law banning the promotion of LGBT rights and activities. The new law re-enforces ugly, hateful stereotypes by incorrectly linking it to protecting children and stopping pedophilia.
“If St. Petersburg expects to have the international respect of a civilized, world class city then it must behave like one,” according to the Orthodox Bishop. “This new law infringes on free speech and free expression. It puts ordinary citizens in fear. This is a step backward for Russia.”
“Lawmakers have embarrassed St. Petersburg by suggesting it does not possess the education or sophistication expected of a great city if it encourages bigotry and discrimination. In one sweeping, misguided law the Legislative Assembly announced to the world that it does not consider LGBT minorities full citizens worthy of respect,” he said. “It is a Mongol-mindset unworthy of a Russian.”
According to the Bishop, “I am reminded of Pushkin, ‘they didn´t bring us algebra, they didn´t give us architecture or classical traditions. Their legacy was only one of terror and isolation.’ “ Now the Legislative Assembly brings fear and isolation to the LGBT citizens of Russia. Its actions are an affront to the Eastern Slav Soul.
[pullquote_right] “This new law infringes on free speech and free expression. It puts ordinary citizens in fear. This is a step backward for Russia.”[/pullquote_right]
The Bishop added by asking rhetorically, “is this a harbinger of things to come? Whose rights will be infringed next? Every Russian, especially heterosexuals, should be concerned about this law. It sets a dangerous precedent that may some day negatively impact everyone.”
“If St. Petersburg cannot behave like a civilized, world class city then it doesn’t deserve the tourism that normally benefits a great city,” the Bishop said. “I urge the world’s civilized citizens to sign this petition and boycott St. Petersburg.”
The Bishop is author of God’s LGBT Children in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova – Homosexuality is Not Sinful, Demonic, or a Mental Illness. The eBook is in Russian and includes a full English translation. The Bishop advocates for change within the Orthodox Church hoping it will be more faithful to its Christian mission.
- Russian Bishop’s petition of St. Petersburg