The California Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution that urges
California's two largest pension funds not to invest in Russia.
Senators approved the measure with a 29-1 bipartisan vote.
Senate Resolution 18 (SR 18) was introduced by Senator Mark Leno,
an openly gay Democrat from San Francisco, in response to laws signed
by President Vladimir Putin. One law prohibits gay couples from
adopting Russian-born children, while a second prohibits the public
promotion of gay rights where minors might be present, effectively
banning Gay Pride marches and similar demonstrations. Russian
officials have said that its “gay propaganda” law would be in
effect at the Winter Olympics at Sochi and that athletes or guests
who violate the law will be detained.
SR 18 calls on CalPERS and CalSTRS, which together manage more
than $400 billion in assets, to stop making direct future investments
in Russia and urges other organizations planning large events inside
Russia, including the Miss Universe Pageant, to find new venues
“I am pleased that my colleagues in the Senate today took a
stand against the persecution of LGBT people in Russia,” Leno said
in an emailed statement. “Recent news reports confirm that
violence against LGBT people has increased since these new anti-gay
laws took effect, reinforcing our belief that the host country of the
Winter Olympics aims to promote continued discrimination against its
citizens and international visitors based solely on sexual
orientation and gender identity. We must not tolerate, nor invest
in, such blatant violations of human rights.”
SR 18 is now the official position of the Senate.
Weir wears Russian uniform in arguing against Olympic boycott.)