The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind. We just delivered your 300,000 signatures demanding an end to Russia’s “gay gag rule” to Russian embassies in 8 cities around the world! All Out members like you talked with embassy staff, delivered giant “postcards,” and got major coverage in international media1.
But it’s not over yet. As we expected, lawmakers in St. Petersburg just voted to pass the catastrophic bill that would impose fines of up to $16,700 for “offenses” like organizing a local pride parade or a student Gay-Straight Alliance. The Governor now has just 14 days to reject the law – enough time for a final, critical push.
During our global flashmobs yesterday, we made a video highlighting just how absurd this law is – and we paired it with the music of Russia’s own iconic, revered (and gay) composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. We stayed up all night, but it was worth it! It cuts straight to the heart of why we’re speaking out and will inspire others do the same … if we get it out there.
Will you take a minute to watch this video, and share with your friends, family and colleagues? We want to get 100,000 views in the next two weeks – the timeline for the Governor to veto this shameful bill.
We cannot stand by while our friends in Russia are pushed underground or their speech is criminalized. If the Governor signs the bill into law, simply writing a book with a gay character, mentioning LGBT rights on air, or even holding hands with your partner could be considered illegal “propaganda” in Russia’s second largest city.
The conservative lawmakers who advanced the bill think St. Petersburg’s governor will ratify it despite an international uproar. But Governor Poltavchenko can’t ignore the fact that Saint Petersburg is Russia’s #1 tourist destination – or that tens of thousands have already publicly pledged not to travel there as tourists if this backward law is signed. If we can get more people to watch this video – hundreds of thousands – then the Governor and his advisors will soon realize they have a PR disaster on their hands.
Please, watch this video and share the message now. To Russia, with love:
Alberto, Andre, Erika, Flavia, Guillaume, Jasmin, Jeremy, Joseph, Oli, Tile and Wesley
1. Washington Post: Russia ‘gay propaganda’ proposal to be protested Tuesday
2. Russia Gazette: Gay activists organize ban on St. Petersburg