If you’re cruising through, from, or to Miami / Ft. Lauderdale in mid-June, check out Read more →
Russia’s War Against Rainbows: Part II
In November of 2011, we informed you about the New York Times article titled “Russia’s War Against Rainbows”. At that time, the city of St. Petersburg, Russia, was drafting a law to outlaw the ‘propaganda of homosexuality”. Unfortunately, the lawmakers of St. Petersburg just passed the notorious “propaganda” law to silence any reading, writing, speech or debate on ANYTHING “gay”.
We realize that MeetMeOnBoard is about cruising and not politics but there are times when we in the LGBT community need to let our voices be heard. Dale and I always had a dream of visiting St. Petersburg and in 2009 that dream came true on a 7-day Baltic cruise. After years of cruising and visiting hundreds of ports, St. Petersburg is now one of our favorite destinations. The sheer size and grandness of the city and it’s surrounding Palaces is something one doesn’t forget.
We were fortunate enough to have a lesbian Russian guide who was great fun to spend the day with. She not only gave us a quality tour but also told us what it was like to be gay in Russia. Just think, she would no longer be able to even talk about being lesbian in her own country. If this bill becomes law, I no longer know how comfortable I would be to visit Russia. In fact, most likely it would be a destination Dale and I would no longer choose to visit.
This fight is NOT over. The bill won’t become law until it’s signed by the Governor. St. Petersburg is one of Russia’s number one tourist destinations especially in the summer with the influx of cruise ships. That’s why an international storm of bad publicity will force the Governor to think twice about the cost of signing this bill.
There is less than a week to act: tell the Governor of St. Petersburg that a city that muzzles artists, writers, musicians, citizens and visitors isn’t a city you plan to visit.
Conservatives in St. Petersburg passed this “gay gag rule” despite condemnation from world leaders — and even the country’s own international treaty obligations respecting freedom of expression. But at the same time, Russian leaders recently announced that they want to invest $11 billion dollars to build their international reputation and attract tourists from around the world. St. Petersburg, Russia’s cosmopolitan “window to the west” is key to that strategy.
But they can’t have it both ways – a thriving tourist economy can’t coexist with a new law that will muzzle artists, writers, musicians and regular citizens who live in – or visit – the city.
We want to know what you think. Should we, collectively as gay travelers, visit places where it is illegal to openly be ourselves? Take our quick poll, and please add your comments to the discussion.
- compose new post
- next post/next comment
- previous post/previous comment
- show/hide comments
- go to top
© 2009-2013 Meet Me On Board, LLC. All rights reserved.