The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly passed a law based on bigotry, ignorance, misinformation, and not reflective of a world-class city. The law, approved in February 2012, allows fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,700) for the "promotion of homosexuality."
This will have a direct impact on parades, print and online publications, and radio and television programs, among other things. The law will greatly hinder liberty, free speech, and free expression of LGBT persons.
It reenforces the negative stereotype that LGBT people are not good citizens. Just as important it sets a dangerous precedent for future laws to curtail the freedoms of non-LGBT persons when their views or opinions are not aligned with the ruling political class.
LGBT people in Russia have become scapegoats during difficult economic times. They have also been shunned and misunderstood. Despite worldwide concerns over the bill expressed before its passage it was still approved. Hence, St. Petersburg should not benefit from the money brought by tourists from countries that have condemned its anti-LGBT legislation.
Tourism to St. Petersburg should be discouraged until this Medieval, discriminatory law that persecutes minorities and those who support them is repealed. Tourists unite! Boycott St. Petersburg, Russia!