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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Baird must press Russia to reject homophobic law

Baird must press Russia to reject homophobic law
NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) and LGBT Critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) are calling on the minister of foreign affairs to urge Russian leaders to prevent passage of a law establishing criminal penalties for both Russians and foreign visitors engaging in so-called ‘homosexual propaganda’.
 “Passage of this law would be a clear violation of Russia's international obligations to protect freedom of speech and association for all Russians as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to protect minorities as a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe,” Dewar said. “Adopting this law is likely to promote increased discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Russians.”
 “Creating criminal penalties including heavy fines and possible imprisonment for the vague offense of promoting non-traditional sexual practices through the media or in public violates international human rights norms,” Garrison said. “It will also endanger Russia's tourism industry and Russia's ability to host international events, including the upcoming Olympics.”
 Dewar and Garrison call on Minister Baird to urge Russia's upper house to defeat the proposed ‘homosexual propaganda’ law, and urge President Putin to refuse to sign the law.

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