Canada Foreign Affairs Minister John
Baird has told members of the House of Commons that he's concerned
over St. Petersburg's “gay propaganda” law.
The law, which took effect Saturday,
criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty,
lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.”
Offenders face a fine of up to $16,700
under the law first proposed by the dominant United Russia party.
The law effectively outlaws Gay Pride
parades and gay rights demonstrations.
Supporters say the law is designed to
According to The
Canadian Press, Baird told lawmakers that the law runs
counter to Canadian values of freedom of speech, human rights and the
rule of law.
“Canada's ambassador has written to
the Russian government to express our deep concern and, yes, we have
at his request, put a travel advisory on our website,” Baird said.
On the site, visitors to St.
Petersburg, a top travel destination, are “advised to avoid
displaying affection in public, as homosexuals can be targets of