Iceland: Mayor of Reykjavík wants to cut ties with Moscow over passage of anti-gay law

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The mayor of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavic wants to cut cultural and political ties between Moscow and his city over the recent passage of anti-gay legislation in Russia.

Since 2007, the two cities have been sister cities, exchanging cultural and political information, and cooperating on policies around youth and family reports the Reykjavíc Grapevine.

The Mayor of Reykjavic Jón Gnarr filed a motion in a city council meeting last week to end the relationship between the two cities.

In his motion he cited the passage of a recently introduced law banning “homosexual propaganda”, which was signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

“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,” read the minutes from the City Council meeting, according to the Reykjavic Grapevine. 

The Italian city of Venice has already broken its cultural partnership with Russian city, St Petersburg, over a city-wide anti-gay law which was brought in over a year ago.

In November, the Venice Municipal Council was considering ending its partnership with St Petersburg over the latter’s anti-gay law.

Last week the sister of recently re-established Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told journalists she believed the law should protect Australian children from being told that homosexuality is “normal”.

In November, speaking out against anti-equal marriage protesters in Paris, Mr Gnarr said: “Homophobia is not a phobia. They are not scared. They are just a bunch of assholes.”

The upper house of the Russian Parliament voted last month to approve both a bill banning adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples and the nationwide anti-”propaganda” bill banning the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors.

Earlier in June the Duma, or lower parliamentary house, unanimously voted 443-0 to approve a draft law to ban adoption of Russian orphans by foreign same-sex couples, as well as related amendments to Russian family law.

The bills, which have since been signed by President Vladimir Putin, bans foreign same-sex couples and unmarried individuals in countries where same-sex marriage is legal from adopting Russian children.





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