What do Rotterdam and Sint Petersburg, Groningen and Kaliningrad, Nijmegen and Pskov have in common? They are all ‘Sister Cities’ - a city-bond with the purpose to show friendship, exchange culture and support each others governance.
On Saturday, August 3rd, during the Dutch Gay Pride, we ask the Mayors of Rotterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen to break the city’s bond with their Russian Sister City.
The Russian government passed a law in June that makes it a crime to demonstrate for LGBT-rights*, show a rainbow flag or publicly give your partner a kiss. The fines on these acts of love go up to 200,000 rubles (about 4,700 euros) or 14 days in jail.
The Russian Anti-Gay Law singles out a minority group and legitimizes violence against LGBT people. Following Reykjavik, Venice and Milan, we ask the Mayors of Rotterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen to break the city’s bond with their Russian Sister City until the Anti-Gay Law is declared invalid.
The Governance of our Dutch cities should make clear that criminalizing a display of love can not be rewarded with the status of 'Sister City'.
(*LGBT - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)
- Burgemeester van Rotterdam
Dhr. Ahmed Aboutaleb
- Burgemeester van Groningen
Dhr. Peter Rehwinkel
- Burgemeester van Nijmegen
Dhr. Hubert Bruls
With the annual Gay Pride week, from July 27th till August 4th, the Dutch show that they are proud of their LGBT movement. In Russia such a thing is unthinkable. Whomever is acting "publicly homosexual" risks a fine or imprisonment.
The Governance of our Dutch cities must make clear that fining or imprisoning of people who act out of love, or solidarity for, same sex couples can not be rewarded with the status of Sister City.
Mayor, show that the Dutch stand for freedom and equal rights. Following Reykjavik, Venice and Milan, we ask you to break the city's bond with its Russian ‘Sister City’ until the Russian Anti-Gay Law is declared invalid.
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