The city leaders of Manchester will send a letter to their sister city of St. Petersburg which denounces Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” bill.
Deputy leader Sue Murphy said the city would not be “severing ties”, but a protest letter would be sent. “I’m writing to the governor to express our concerns about the way people are being treated as a result of this legislation,” she said. “We expect anybody that we have a relationship with to respect people’s human rights and to treat them properly.” She said the letter also pointed out the benefits Manchester had experienced through its “history of tolerance”, including population growth and a reputation as a “leading tourist destination”.
The city’s relationship with St Petersburg is the oldest formal link the city has with another and dates back to a friendship agreement signed in 1962. The council’s letter follows calls by businesses in the city’s gay village to “untwin” and the launch of an online petition, which stated it was “no longer appropriate” to be linked to St Petersburg. Several of the businesses have also joined bars and clubs in London and North America in boycotting Russian products, particularly vodka brands such as Stolichnaya.
RELATED: A petition has been launched which demands that Los Angeles sever its sister city relationship with St. Peterburg.