Posted: April 11th, 2012
Last Sunday Sergey Kondrashov was arrested in Saint Petersburg, Russia for holding up a banner that read: “A dear family friend is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours."
In just five days Sergey will go to court, where he could be fined and even thrown in jail for 15 days for violating St. Petersburg's new "gay propaganda" law. With lawmakers in Russia's federal legislature (the Duma) looking to extend this "gay propaganda" law to the entire country - Sergey is taking a stand. He is asking Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to denounce the absurd anti-gay law that made him a criminal, and to do everything in his power to stop this unconstitutional law from spreading nationwide.
Sergey doesn't think of himself as an activist. He's just someone who thinks that all Russians - gay or straight - should be treated equal under the law. If you believe that it should never be illegal to defend the dignity of your friends and family who are gay, lesbian bi or trans - please stand with Sergey, and sign this petition to the Russian Prime Minister.
READ SERGEY'S LETTER TO ALL OUT MEMBERS:
Dear members of All Out
My name is Sergey and I'm an attorney in Russia. I'm straight, happily married for 16 years. And until last week I would not have been called an activist. But on Sunday in St Petersburg I was arrested for spreading "gay propaganda".
Why? Because I held up a banner and told the truth: “A dear family friend is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours." In just five days i will got to court, where I will probably be fined and even thrown to jail for 15 days because I took a stand for equal rights.
Despite arguments made by the bill supporters - that this law was intended to protect children - it's now clearer than ever that the law is really about making lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people disappear in Russia's second largest city.
And not just LGBT people - the law will muzzle people like me, straight people who care about our LGBT friends and family. Now that lawmakers in the Duma (the federal legislature) are debating a version of the law, this despicable law could go nationwide - unless we fight it now.
That's why I'm appealing to the one person whose influence over the political process in Russia could help us annul this unconstitutional law in St. Petersburg, and make sure it isn't rolled out nationwide - Prime Minister Putin. Sign this petition to the president-elect, let's make sure he knows the whole world is watching.
Thanks for your support,
Sergey Kondrashov. Independent lawyer in Saint Petersburg, Russia.