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Sister Cities Spat :: Will Reykjavik Dump Moscow Over Anti-Gay Law?

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jul 15, 2013

The mayor of Iceland's capital says he may end relations with Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" bill last month, the British newspaper the Telegraph reports.

Jon Gnarr, the mayor of Reykjavik, filed a motion in a city council meeting last week to end his city's relationship with the Russian capital. As the Telegraph reports, Reykjavik and Moscow have been "sister cities" for about six years.

"In light of the developments that have taken place in recent years in matters of gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Russia, the Human Rights Office and the Mayor's Office have entrusted the deputy mayor to propose amendments to the existing agreement between the two cities or terminate it all together following consultation with the Foreign Ministry," a statement from the City Council reads.

While a number of nations and activist have sharply criticized the law, it looks like Gnarr is the first to take legal and political action against it.

Gnarr has been a strong supporter of LGBT rights and has marched in Gay Pride parades and has even dressed in drag.

The bill Putin signed into law on June 30 fines individuals, organizations and businesses large sums of money for showing minors "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations." Individuals can also be arrested under the law.

Last week it was reported a provision of the measure can also impact gay tourists visiting Russia. The provision states that out tourists or "pro-gay" foreigners can be arrested for up to two weeks before they would be expelled from the country.


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