Venice, Italy has suspended its sister
city status with St. Petersburg, Russia over the city's adoption of
an anti-gay law.
St. Petersburg's law, which took effect
in March, forbids the spread of “homosexual propaganda” to
minors, effectively outlawing Gay Pride parades and gay rights
demonstrations. Violators face fines ranging from 5,000 to 500,000
rubles ($153 to $153,000).
to RT, Venice and Milan have both shunned the city. Authorities
in Turin are also considering officially suspending cooperation with
St. Petersburg, Russia's second city.
Milan has already approved the
suspension of sister city status, while the Venice Mayor's office is
currently processing its decision.
United Russia Deputy Vitaly Milonov,
who sponsored the ordinance, reacted to Milan's parting.
“There must be a lot of socialists in
Milan City Council … It's a great shame that a city like Milan
would take a decision like this,” he is quoted as saying. “Of
course, it's hard for many of our European colleagues to accept our
law, as many of them are members of the gay lobby.”
The law attracted headlines over the
summer when Madonna
was accused of violating the ordinance.