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Lansing, Mich., votes to end ‘sister city’ relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

LANSING, Mich. — The city council in Lansing, Mich., on Monday voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling for an end to its “sister cities” relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia, over country’s anti-gay “propaganda” law.

Lansing, Mich.

“This is an important issue at this time,” said Councilwoman Jody Washington, the architect of the resolution. It’s “an emotional shot in the arm to our LGBT (colleagues) in St. Petersburg.”

Her resolution says “the Lansing City Council strongly condemns the widespread abuses of human rights” in Russia and calls for removal of all mentions of St. Petersburg from Lansing’s website and signage, as well as an annual report “summarizing current human rights issues and challenges in each of Lansing’s sister cities,” reported MLive.com.

Washington noted St. Petersburg had already been removed from the city’s website, but its name remains on multiple signs placed along roadways welcoming motorists to Lansing.

According to the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission, the city’s relationship with one district of St. Petersburg formally began in 1994 with a youth exchange program but fell dormant after political and geographic districts of St. Petersburg were changed several years ago.

The new Russian law, signed by President Vladimir Putin on June 29, is aimed at “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” It imposes fines for organizations, plus stiffer penalties for propaganda online or in the media.

St. Petersburg was one of several cities to pass similar laws at local level prior to enactment of the federal law.

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35 more reader comments:

  1. Good for them!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:04pm
  2. BRAVO !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:05pm
  3. amen

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:06pm
  4. SWEET!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:06pm
  5. Michigan? There´s a surprise.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:10pm
  6. KUDOs to Lansing!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:11pm
  7. Gj!!!! way to go!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:12pm
  8. Yay! Someone in my state is thinking for once!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:13pm
  9. We still need to have solidarity towards the Russians who don´t have the hatefilled ideology that Vladamir Hitler and his followers have…

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:13pm
  10. Great

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:16pm
  11. Oops! One for Michigan!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:22pm
  12. Good For Them !!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:25pm
  13. WTG Lansing!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 5:53pm
  14. Way to go Lansing!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 6:59pm
  15. Good Job….. We need for people to stand up to these mean and BIGOTED people.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 7:34pm
  16. Go, Lansing, Mich!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 8:53pm
  17. good Russia needs to be stoped

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 9:21pm
  18. Chicago needs to do the same

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 10:34pm
  19. Sometimes what your National politicians do and what local people want them to do don´t align. I would check it out frst before acting and maybe they did.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 11:15pm
  20. one hears so much right-wing conservative crap coming out of MI lately that I was heartened to hear about this from my home state

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 12:19am
  21. Same-sex cities?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 2:49am
  22. Yeah

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 2:49am
  23. Russia is going to see what the term “backlash” means!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 2:53am
  24. good job…putin is a loser

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 3:08am
  25. One day Russia will need help and there will be no one they can turn to,they brought this on Themselfs.Russia should be so ashamed of how they act

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 3:47am
  26. It´s ABOUT DAMN TIME Michigan took a stand for LGBT rights!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 4:05am
  27. I was just thinking the same thing Kuki, since there are no current laws that I know of that protects LGBT rights or people.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:05am
  28. Well, I hope they will extend to their colleagues an invite to relocate to the U.S.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 5:37am
  29. Step up, more sister cities! Do the right thing

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 6:49am
  30. go lansing!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 7:45am
  31. There´s hope.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 12:33pm
  32. So sad to have to take a stance for justice.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 1:02pm
  33. damn straight #livinginLansing

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 1:12pm
  34. Very good! It is a START, AMERICA.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 4:02pm
  35. Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 7:50pm