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Amnesty Criticizes Anti-Gay Bill in Russian City

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MOSCOW – Amnesty International has criticized a bill in Russia’s second-largest city as homophobic and strongly urged authorities not to enact it.

The bill approved earlier this week by St. Petersburg’s city legislature in the first of three required readings calls for a fine of up to $1,600 for “public actions aimed at propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors.”

Amnesty said Friday the measure would fuel discrimination against the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, effectively banning all their public events.

Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty’s Europe and Central Asia program director, denounced the bill as a “thinly veiled attempt to legalize discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.”

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